Furue, Lee and Vu share LPGA Portland Classic lead

·2-min read

Japan's Ayaka Furue fired a bogey-free five-under par 67 to match Americans Lilia Vu and Andrea Lee for the lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Portland Classic.

The 22-year-old from Kobe opened with a birdie, reeled off three in a row starting at the par-5 fifth and added another at the 14th to leap into contention at Columbia Edgewater in Portland, Oregon.

Vu, Lee and Furue were on 13-under 203 after 54 holes. Vu, a 36-hole co-leader, shot 69 while Lee birdied three of the last five holes for 67.

One stroke off the pace on 204 were Australia's Hannah Green, Japan's Hinako Shibuno, South African Paula Reto and Ecuador's Daniela Darquea.

"It's very important to play bogey-free golf," Furue said. "I believe it's more important than getting birdies, not having bogeys. So I'm very happy with that today."

Furue won her first LPGA title in July at the Scottish Open after winning seven Japan Tour crowns.

The first of those came as an amateur in 2019 and she won three each in 2020 and 2021.

She said her approach wouldn't change on Sunday as she tries to break away from the leading pack for her second win of the season.

"My mentality will not change," she said. "Keep playing as I've been playing. If I see a chance, I'll try to get a birdie, try to make safe pars all the time."

Lee, who like Vu is a 24-year-old former world amateur number one seeking her first LPGA triumph, won her first pro title in April at a developmental tour event in Tucson, Arizona.

She opened and closed the front nine with birdies around another at the par-5 fifth, then birdied 14 and followed her lone bogey at 15 with back-to-back birdies and a closing par to have a chance at her first LPGA victory.

"I've played solid golf all year long," Lee said. "I feel really comfortable out here. I've had some experience and that will help me out tomorrow."

Vu, whose three 2021 developmental tour wins earned her a rookie LPGA spot this season, opened with a bogey and took another at six after a birdie at the fifth.

But Vu followed with birdies at the par-5 10th and 12th holes and added back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15.