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Hull up by 2 in Singapore, Jyoti ahead in Phuket

AUSTRALIA'S Katherine Hull fired seven birdies in a six-under 66 yesterday to take a two-shot lead after three rounds of the US$2 million HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Hull, who won the Australian Ladies Masters last month, shone on a gloomy day at the Tanah Merah Country Club, where play was suspended for 2 hours and 19 minutes in the afternoon because of lighting and heavy rain.

Hull's three-round total of 11-under 205 put her two shots ahead of American Angela Stanford, who sank six birdies in a round of 66, with South Korea's Yoo Sun-young (68) a stroke further back.

"I'm liking the fact I have a two-shot lead, and I'm confident in how I'm playing," Hull said. "So game on."

Stanford, who already has a title this year after a win at the SBS Open in Hawaii, sank four birdies on the back nine to put herself into contention.

"I really feel comfortable with my swing, the way I'm chipping the ball, the way I'm rolling the ball on the greens," said Stanford, who has four LPGA tour titles overall. "When you get in these zones you just ride it as long as you can."

Yoo (68) was one shot ahead of Korean compatriot Kim Mi-hyun (70), with second round co-leader American Paula Creamer (72) five strokes off the lead.

World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa (69) of Mexico was among a group of five players at five-under, while Chinese Taipei's world No. 2 Tseng Yani (69) was on four-under.

Ochoa, who came from behind to win last week's LPGA Thailand, and will again have the leaders looking over their shoulders today. "It's like asking if Tiger Woods can come back," Stanford said. "There's a reason why she's the No. 1 player in the world. Any player within four or five shots has a chance."

American Jane Park, who shared the lead with Creamer after two rounds, had a 73 to finish six shots off the pace.

In Phuket, India's Jyoti Randhawa charged into the joint third round lead at the Singha Thailand Open after firing a sizzling eight-under 62 yesterday.

The 2002 Asian Tour No. 1 was in irrepressible form at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club, sinking an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey to tie countryman S.S.P. Chowrasia and Welshman Rhys Davies at 12-under 198 after starting the day eight shots back.

Overnight leader Chowrasia battled to a 70 at the US$500,000 event while Davies, chasing a maiden victory, missed a five-foot birdie chance for the outright lead at the 18th hole for a 69.

Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines and Australian David Bransdon share fourth place on 200 while Thailand's Prom Meesawat gave himself a chance of emulating his father's victory at the Singha Thailand Open with a 66 which left him three shots back.


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