Mel Reid takes lead into Shoprite LPGA Classic finale

Mel Reid takes lead into Shoprite LPGA Classic finale”

Hall then had to wait until the 18th to claw a shot back and close on nine under alongside Solheim Cup team-mate Anne van Dam (69), with Jodi Ewart Shadoff adding to the English challenge with a 68 getting her to eight under par.

Kupcho was next on 267 after a final-day 68 with American Jennifer Song third on 268 and Japan's Nasa Hataoka fourth on 270 after closing 69s.

While Reid prospered, it was a frustrating day for last week's victor Hall as she failed to build on a bright start with back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth, giving shots back at six and eight.

At Portland, Reid fired a final-round 74 to squander a two-stroke lead and settled for sharing fifth while Hall took the trophy.

"My shots were inconsistent but I finally improved my game toward the very end", said Hataoka, who posted five birdies and one bogey. "I really wanted to redeem myself after a few weeks ago". It's the second straight event that Reid, a six-time victor on the Ladies European Tour, has held the 54-hole lead in search of a first LPGA Tour title.

She had a near miss in January's LPGA Tournament of Champions, losing a play-off to Mexico's Gaby Lopez on the seventh extra hole, and also finished second the next week at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.

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Kupcho, ranked 58th, had a birdie-birdie finish but could not collect her first LPGA title after turning professional previous year. She was on the green in two at the par-five ninth and two-putted for birdie and a birdie at the 10th put her alone atop the leaderboard.

Song kept pace with Reid until a two-shot swing on the par-3 11th - Reid made her fourth birdie in the last five holes, while Song made bogey.

Kupcho birdied the 13th to pull within three, but Reid sank a clutch 12-foot par putt at the par-3 15th and Kupcho made a three-putt bogey at the 16th, restoring Reid's four-shot edge. Kupcho blasted onto the front of the green while Song rolled into greenside rough.

"It came out better (than I expected)", Reid said. She left a birdie putt short but still walked off with a slender advantage.

Stephanie Meadow is two shots further back on one-under par after she also shot 70 on Saturday. Kupcho's four-foot birdie attempt wobbled a bit but dropped in the right side as she capped a bogey-free round.

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