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Hull takes three-shot lead in Australia

AUSTRALIAN Katherine Hull shot a four-under-par 68 yesterday to take a three-shot lead after three rounds of the Australian Ladies Masters in Gold Coast.

Hull, a US LPGA Tour regular who trailed by two strokes going into the third round, had a 54-hole total of 12-under 204.

Australian Tamie Durdin was in second after a 66, followed by American Mollie Fankhauser, who is four shots back after a 68.

"I believe I can win," Hull said after finishing with two birdies. "But there's some great names on the leaderboard and I can't just expect it to happen."

Kristie Smith of Australia, who had seven straight birdies to start her round on Friday and fired a 62, had a 75 yesterday to slip into a five-way tie for fourth place, six strokes behind the charging Hull.

"It's hard to back up a 62," said Smith, daughter of former Australian touring pro Wayne Smith and in her fourth pro event.

"It was a bit of a scramble out there, especially when the breeze was up so hard today. I just couldn't keep it together...just a bad day at the office."

Six-time Masters winner Karrie Webb (70-73-69) remained eight shots behind the leader.

"I was pretty up and down today. I had seven birdies which was good to see," Webb said. "I had a couple of careless bogeys, especially the one on the last. I'll...have to shoot 63 or 64."

Japan Tour regular Nikki Campbell of Australia, who led by one stroke going into the third round, shot 78 and is also eight strokes behind.


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