POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 17, 2011
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates » American teenager Lexi Thompson has a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Dubai Ladies Masters after making a birdie putt on the 18th for a 2-under 70 on Friday.
The 16-year-old Thompson, the youngest LPGA Tour winner, is 10 under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Sophie Gustafson (69) of Sweden.
Thompson, who led by two shots going into the third round, bogeyed the 15th. Gustafson made three birdies on the back nine. But the American reclaimed the lead when she reached the green in two on the 18th and made the birdie putt.
“I was pretty much like ’let’s just hit it,”’ Thompson said. “You’ve been hitting it pretty good, so just got to be confident.”
Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa (67) and Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden (68) are two shots back of Thompson in the season-ending Ladies European Tour tournament.
Punahou alum Michelle Wie (71) is five shots off the pace at 5 under. Wie dropped a shot on the front nine before making all three of her birdies and a bogey on the back.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” she said. “You know, but at least I made a birdie on the last hole, made me feel good about myself. But tomorrow I just gotta a go out there and really shoot low.”
Even though she’s eighth, Wie is still capable of charging. She moved into contention on the last day of the tournament last year, shooting a 67 for the best score of the day.
“It’s a golf course where you can and should,” she said of shooting a low score. “I just gotta go out there tomorrow, gotta focus and make a lot of birdies.”
Westwood up by 11 in Bangkok
Lee Westwood followed his career-best 12-under 60 with a 64 on Friday to take a commanding 11-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok.
The Englishman had eight birdies in his second straight bogey-free round at Amata Spring Country Club to reach 20 under overall. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa had a 66 on Friday and was tied for second at 9 under with American Michael Thompson, who also shot a 66.