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Lewis Reels Off 63 in ShopRite LPGA Classic


Stacy Lewis vaulted into first in the ShopRite LPGA Classic after firing a bogey-free, 8-under 63 on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.

The 29-year-old, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Inbee Park, had a flawless round, carding four birdies on the front nine and another four on the back.

Lewis enters Sunday's final round in the 54-hole, $1.5 million event at 12-under 130, a shot ahead of Christina Kim, who shot a 67, and Jennifer Johnson. Johnson, who tied the course record of 9-under 62 for the first-round lead, posted a 70 Saturday.

A win on Sunday would allow Lewis to replace Park as the top-ranked player in women's golf. Park played in the afternoon when the wind picked up. The South Korean shot a 70 and is tied for seventh at 6-under.

"It would be huge," Lewis said of her possible ascension to the top spot in the Rolex World Ranking. "I was only there for four weeks last year, so I never really got to enjoy it. I definitely want to get back because I know kind of more now what to expect with it.

"Honestly, I'm kind of tired of hearing all the scenarios and hearing everybody talk about it. I would like to take care of that here this week."

Lewis has had prior success at Stockton Seaview, winning the ShopRite Classic in 2012. "I like this golf course and the fans just seem to come out of the woodwork for this tournament," said the nine-time LPGA winner. "It's awesome."

Johnson admitted it was difficult to duplicate her opening effort. "When you shoot your lowest round ever, it's hard to follow that up," said the 22-year-old. "Everything went my way yesterday and nothing was dropping today."

Sharing fourth at 8-under are Sweden's Anna Nordqvist (65) and Gerina Piller, who carded her second straight 67. South Korea's Haeji Kang (67) is in sixth at 7-under, while sharing seventh with Park are Japan's Haru Nomura (73).

Tied for ninth at 5-under 136 are Paraguay's Julieta Granada (66), Korean Na Yeon Choi (71) and Americans Dori Carter (68), Kim Kaufman (68) and Brittany Lincicome (70).

The 36-hole cut was set at 1-over 143. Third-ranked Lydia Ko posted a 75 and qualified for the final round right on the number, avoiding missing her first cut in 27 career LPGA starts with birdies on her final two holes.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.