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Stacy Lewis claims share of Bahamas LPGA third-round lead with Lexi Thompson

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The Sports Xchange
Stacy Lewis hits her tee shot. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Stacy Lewis hits her tee shot. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

American Stacy Lewis had two eagles on her final eight holes to cap a brilliant round of 10-under-par 63 on Saturday to tie Lexi Thompson for the 54-hole lead at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Lewis had seven birdies and a bogey to go with her eagles as Nos. 11 and 18 to move to 23-under 196 on the par-73 Ocean Club Golf Course.

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"That was probably the best round I think I've ever shot on tour in relation to par, so just a cool day," Lewis said. "I didn't exactly hit it perfect, got away with a few shots, but just took advantage of it, and I didn't even know what I shot there at the end of the day."

Joining Lewis atop the leaderboard was Thompson, the second-round co-leader who followed her course- and tournament-record 61 on Friday with a 7-under 66.

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"I shot 7 under and I'm tied, so it's crazy, but we will see what tomorrow will bring," Thompson said.

Lewis and Thompson were one stroke off the tournament scoring record through three rounds and hold a one-shot lead over Gerina Piller, who is alone in third at 197 after carding her second straight 65.

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Brittany Lincicome, the first-round pacesetter who owned a share of the lead after 36 holes, carded a 69 and was two strokes off the lead.

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Lewis, a two-time runner-up in this event who is seeking her first victory since 2014, has won eight of 13 tournaments when she had a share of the lead entering the final day.

The 21-year-old Thompson also has an impressive record in similar situations, posting five victories on the nine occasions when she has held a share of the lead after 54 holes.

Because of ominous weather conditions expected Sunday, tee times were moved up to 8 a.m. for Sunday's final round. Lewis said that won't change her game plan.

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"I didn't look at a leaderboard all day until the 18th, and the weather is going to get tougher tomorrow, which I'm glad I'm near the lead for that," Lewis said. "But we gotta keep making birdies regardless, so stay in my own game and keep making birdies."

The only other player within seven shots of the lead was Laetitia Beck at 16-under 203. She's one stroke ahead of three players that included rookie Nelly Korda.

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Playing in her first event as a member of the LPGA Tour, Korda matched Lewis for the best round of the day with a career-best 63.

"I'm so happy to be out here. It's been my dream," Korda said after her round. "I was definitely nervous my first day and my first nine holes, and I'm glad I kinda got those nerves out of way, and now I can play some golf."

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