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Saturday's roundup: Jang leads rain-plagued Toledo event

Associated Press

Sylvania, Ohio — Ha Na Jang parred the last five holes Saturday for a 2-under 69, leaving her a stroke ahead with one round left in the LPGA Tour's rain-plagued Marathon Classic.

The South Korean player had an 11-under 202 total at Highland Meadows. Fighting back pain, she opened with rounds of 66 and 67 and has only two bogeys over the first 54 holes.

Play was delayed for 1 hour, 59 minutes in the afternoon. Delays Friday forced 54 players to complete the second round Saturday morning.

Seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, Jang said her target is to finish at 15 under.

"I don't want to think about any players. Just myself, confidence, concentration and play," Jang said.

South Korea's Q Baek was second. She birdied the final hole for a 68.

"Overall I missed a lot of putts today," Baek said. "But I was just happy with the way I played."

Jang and Baek have played against each other numerous times over 10 years on the Korean tour.

"We have played a lot of events against each other," Baek said through a translator, adding that she and Jang played together on the South Korean national team. "We have a pretty good friendship. I am just one shot behind Ha Na. The main focus is to keep my temper down, and try to stay calm and play as best golf as I can and stay positive."

Defending champion Lydia Ko, ranked No. 2 in the world, was 9 under after a 67 in a group that included top-ranked Inbee Park. Ko also was second, two shots off the lead last year.

"It's great to be back," Ko said. "I don't mind the position I'm in right now. It's great to return to a course where you've played well. There is a little bit of expectation and a lot more people recognize you and you kind of get that support. So there are pluses and minuses."

Ko said the putts started dropping for her in the second and third rounds.

"I've been hitting it pretty solid so I've been trying to give myself plenty of opportunities," Ko said.

Park also had a 67.

"It was a long day," Park said. "But no bogeys today, which is really good. I feel like I have played pretty solid the last couple of days. I still feel I left a few out there. I am satisfied where I am."

Chella Choi, Austin Ernst and Shanshan Feng were tied with Ko and Park.

Choi had a 65, the best round of the day. She started her round with a bogey, but then made seven birdies, including three of the last four holes.

"Actually, my shot is good, but I don't make that (many putts)," Choi said. "So just one birdie Thursday. But yesterday and today my shots really good and made more putts."

Ernst, who had five birdies, finished her second round with a double bogey for a 66, but was able to wide out that memory and play a solid third round.

"I just said it was one bad swing and then — you know, just made a bad swing and a bad putt," Ernst said about her double bogey. "So really over the last two days that's the only blemish on the card.

"I am hitting it well. I just need to make a few putts."

Feng shot a 68.

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was tied for 23rd at 5 under after a 69.

Alena Sharp, Jenny Suh and Jaye Marie Green earned spots in the Women's British Open. Sarah Kemp and Dewi Claire Schreefel locked up spot Friday.

Barnes, Piercy share Barbasol lead

Ricky Barnes and Scott Piercy each shot 6-under 65 to share the lead in the PGA Tour's inaugural Barbasol Championship. Barnes and Piercy reached 13-under 200 on Grand National's Lake Course, and will be paired together again while jockeying for the top spot Sunday.

The pairing worked well for both in the third round.

"We were both hitting solid shots, giving ourselves good looks," Barnes said. "And we both got off to a great start. We both holed about an 18-20-footer on the first hole. So we saw balls going in the hole, saw good shots. Not so much competing, but kind of feeding off each other."

Piercy birdied four of the first five holes. He has won twice on the PGA Tour.

"I've won a couple of times where I think a couple of the guys that are up there haven't won yet," Piercy. "I think that's probably a bigger advantage is that I've gotten it done a couple of times. Not worried about locking up my card this week or stuff like that is another advantage."

Count Barnes, who had birdies on Nos. 16 and 17, among the winless. He's seeking his first PGA Tour win in 202 events.

Barnes came closest to victory with a runner-up finish in the 2009 U.S. Open. That also was the only other time he held or shared a 54-hole lead.

Second-round co-leaders Whee Kim and Mark Hensby were among five players a shot back. Both shot 68 in the event for players who failed to make the British Open field. Jason Gore had a 63, Will Wilcox a 65, and Emiliano Grillo a 67 to join the group at 12 under.