Published March 02, 2013
| Sports Network
Singapore – Na Yeon Choi waited through a lengthy rain delay at the final hole on Saturday before closing with a birdie to join Stacy Lewis at the top of the leaderboard of the HSBC Women's Champions.
Lewis, Choi and Ariya Jutanugarn were headed to the 18th hole as the lone players remaining on the course when a rain storm erupted and forced a nearly three-hour long delay.
The birdie capped a 5-under 67 for Choi, while Lewis parred the par-5 18th when play resumed to finalize a 3-under 69 and end three rounds at the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course at 14-under-par 202.
"We are both playing really well and she played well again today," said Lewis. "It's going to be tight tomorrow and we are going to have to make some putts."
Paula Creamer overcame a pair of bogeys with five birdies en route a 3-under 69 and sole possession of third place at 12-under 204, while Jutanugarn countered four bogeys with four birdies en route to an even-par 72.
Jutanugarn is grouped with Danielle Kang (70), Sun Young Yoo (72) and first- round leader Azahara Munoz (72) in fourth place at minus-9.
Lewis entered the day holding a 2-stroke cushion for the top spot, but quickly gave that up with bogeys at the first and third.
Choi, meanwhile, raced out to consecutive birdies at the first and second before another birdie at the seventh moved her into sole possession of first place at 12-under par for the tournament.
But Lewis poured in three straight birdies starting at the seventh to bring her into a tie for the lead entering the 10th hole, which Choi birdied to again take the top spot.
After Choi answered Lewis' birdie at the 12th with one of her own at the 14th, Choi stumbled to a bogey at the 15th, while Lewis recorded a birdie to regain the lead.
Both then parred the next two holes before Choi closed her round with her sixth birdie of the day, rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt after Lewis missed her 18-foot attempt to send the tournament into the final round all tied up.
"I think that frees me up for tomorrow," Choi said about her final birdie. "I think I can remember that feeling for tomorrow."
Creamer countered a bogey at the first with a birdie at the third, and then opened her inward nine with three straight birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th.
A bogey at the 16th briefly halted her momentum, but she closed her day with a birdie at the 18th to keep her in striking distance of the lead.
NOTES: Lewis has not finished higher than ninth in her previous three starts at this event ... Choi tied for second here last year ... Choi is attempting to capture her eight LPGA title, while Lewis is seeking her sixth ... Creamer will try to win her 10th career tournament ... 2012 winner Angela Stanford carded a 1-over 73 on Saturday and sits tied for 57th at 9-over.