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Li starts slow, finishes strong to lead LPGA event

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Sylvania, Ohio — Lucy Li played with a lead for the first time on the LPGA Tour and the 19-year-old was up to the task Saturday, recovering from a sluggish start for a 4-under 67 and a one-shot lead in the Dana Open .

Li was 2 over through seven holes and quickly fading from the picture at Highland Meadows when she responded with five birdies over the next 10 holes to regain the lead and set up a final round filled with possibilities.

Lucy Li lines up her tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the Dana Classic.

Lexi Thompson ran off three straight birdies late in the round for a 65, while Caroline Masson of Germany also had a 65. They were one shot behind.

Six other players were three shots back, including Lydia Ko, a two-time tournament winner who had the low round of the day at 64.

“I was probably a little nervous. It wasn’t anything crazy, but I haven’t felt nervous in a long time,” Li said. “Actually making those bogeys might have helped a little, just getting that out of the way and knowing that I could just freewheel it out there a little.”