Thai teen Moriya Jutanugarn is trying to go wire to wire as the leader at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
With a 2-under-par 70 Saturday, Jutanugarn opened up a six-shot lead at 15-under 273 going into Sunday’s final round. Jutanugarn, 18, has had the lead, or at least a share of it, after each of the first four rounds. Japan’s Ayako Uehara (70) is second with Canada's Rebecca Lee-Bentham (69) sitting third, seven shots back.
The top 20 following Sunday’s final round will earn Category 12 status on the LPGA next year, which amounts to full status. Players finishing 21st through 45th and ties will earn Category 17 status.
Two-time LPGA winner Laura Diaz (68) and Japan LPGA Tour standout Chie Arimura (69) are comfortably inside the top 20 among those in a tie for sixth. Two-time LPGA winner Christina Kim (73) sits just outside at T-24.
With Saturday’s cut, 71 players advanced to the final round but a couple prominent names aren’t among them. Birdie Kim, the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open champ, missed the cut by a shot. Five-time Ladies European Tour winner Melissa Reid missed by three shots.