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Three Share Lead in Mizuno Classic


A trio of Japanese players - Mamiko Higa, Yuki Ichinose and first-round leader Shiho Oyama - is now tied for the top spot in the Mizuno Classic. The $1.2 million, 54-hole LPGA Tour event - part of the circuit's five events in Asia - is taking place at the Shima-Shi golf course in Mie, Japan.

Ichinose and Higa shot a 6-under 66 Saturday, while Oyama carded her second straight 68. The three players stand at 8-under 136, one stroke ahead of fellow Japanese player Asako Fujimoto (67) and American Brittany Lincicome (68).

"My putting felt really comfortable before the round and that gave me the confidence to play strong today," said Ichinose, who earlier this year logged her first title on the JLPGA.

"I came this far so I'm definitely going for it tomorrow," noted Oyama. "My caddie this week caddied for Bo-Mee Lee and she won last week, so I think the luck is on my side. Hope to make the best out of tomorrow with my partner."

Lincicome also plans to be aggressive in the final round. "Not being in the last group, I think I play best or I've won the most from," said Lincicome, who's looking to end a two-year victory drought and get her sixth career title Sunday. "It will be fun to go out tomorrow. If I keep doing the same things I've done the last two days, it should be really close."

Sharing sixth at 138 are Taiwan's Teresa Lu (68), Japan's Junko Omote (69) and South Koreans Chella Choi (69) and Eun-Bi Jang (69) are tied for sixth place at 6-under.

Last year Lewis rallied from seven strokes back to win by a stroke on the last day. "Yeah, it's kind of similar to last year when the first two days I just couldn't really drop many putts," said Lewis, who is seeking her fourth title this season.

"But hopefully tomorrow the gap kind of opens up a bit. But I've done it before, so I know it's possible."

The top-two ranked players in the world, South Korean Inbee Park and Norway's Suzann Pettersen, aren't entered this week.

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