HYOGO, Japan (Asian Tour News) - Local hope Masamichi Uehira fired a six-under-par 65 to keep a narrow one-shot lead over Juvic Pagunsan at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open on Saturday.
It was Uehira's best score of the week as he returned with 14-under-par 199 but has nine players who are within four shots off the pace in the $1.9 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
Pagunsan, the reigning Asian Tour No. 1, was leading for most of the round but dropped bogeys on 13 and 15 to settle for 67 at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club.
Japanese Tomohiro Kondo, Koumei Oda and Masahiro Kawamura were a further shot back while overnight leader Hiroyuki Fujita posted a 70 to lie in tied sixth place on 202.
Wu Ashun (67) of China, who played on the Asian Tour in 2008 and 2009, and Darren Beck (70) of Australia both shot hole-in-ones on holes seven and 11 respectively and are four shots back.
Jenny Stays In Title Hunt
In Alabama, American teenager Lexi Thompson continued her march toward a defence of her LPGA Navistar Classic title on Friday, shooting a second round three-under 69 to stay in the lead.
The 17-year-old Thompson has a one-stroke advantage over South Korea's Mi Jung Hur and Mindy Kim of the US with a 12-under 132 total.
Filipino ace Jennifer Rosales produced another brilliant round of four-under 68 to stay in contention with a 137 - her best two-round in years.
The 34-year-old Rosales highlighted her round with five birdies on Nos. 5, 6, 10, 11 and 18. The only blot to an otherwise superb round was a bogey on hole No. 8.
Rosales is currently tied for 15th with five other players.
"Playing at the highest level as a junior and amateur has helped me to play well at this point," said Thompson.
Hur and Kim each shot 65 and played in the same group on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. (AFP)