- Associated Press - Saturday, May 3, 2014

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Stacy Lewis was holding her 3-year-old nephew after a frustrating round when someone asked the little boy what his aunt could do better.

“Make some putts,” little Cole Wysocki said.

Aunt Stacy, who had whispered the response into his ear, wholeheartedly agreed.

Missing several makeable putts Saturday, including a birdie chance on the 18th hole, Lewis shot a 2-under 69 to grab a share of the lead with South Korea’s Meena Lee after three rounds at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

“I hit the ball so good today, especially on the back nine, gave myself a lot of good looks at birdie, and I couldn’t get a putt to go in,” Lewis said. “I had so many that they just went right over the top edge and finished right behind the hole. … The encouraging thing is that I’m hitting the ball great. I have a lot of control over the different shots I’m trying to hit.”

Lewis, the third-ranked player in the world, dropped her head when the final birdie chance rolled just left of the hole after getting over the green at the 518-yard, par-5 18th in two shots. The Texan matched Lee at 9-under 204.

In nearly ideal scoring conditions with little if any wind, Lee shot 70 with plenty of near-misses, too.

“It definitely is going to be the putting,” Lee said about what she needs to do Sunday to get her first win since 2006. “I didn’t really take advantage of a lot of birdie chances today, so I want to make more birdies tomorrow and see how it goes.”

First-round leader Suzann Pettersen, Dori Carter and Julieta Granada shot 68 and were a stroke behind the leaders.

Cristie Kerr (69), Christina Kim (70) and Natalie Gulbis (71) were among seven players tied at 7 under and only two strokes off the lead. Also in that group was 22-year-old Jennifer Johnson, who had an opening bogey before shooting a 65 for the best round of the day at Las Colinas Country Club.

But Caroline Masson, who shared the second-round lead with Lee, followed consecutive 67s with a 75 to fall five strokes back.

Lewis is an eight-time LPGA Tour winner, but has had six runner-up finishes in 16 starts since winning the Women’s British Open in August. She finished worse than sixth only once in the first eight events this year, including second in San Francisco last week.

After a bogey-free 64 with only 26 putts in the second round, Lewis hit all 18 greens in regulation Saturday - even while hitting only seven of 13 fairways. But she needed 34 putts.

“It’s golf. As many rounds as we play, you know, you’re going to hit some putts that you think are going to miss and they end up going in,” she said. “It’s just the way it is sometimes, and the thing about it is that I hit my lines. I hit it the right speed. You know, it wasn’t like they were going way by the hole or anything. They were just tap-ins coming back.”

Lee had the lead alone at 10 under after consecutive birdies. The second of those birdies came after an approach to within a few feet at the par-5 seventh hole, and was her last of the day.

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