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SD native Kaufman battles wind to maintain Vic Open lead

VICTORIA, Australia -- Kim Kaufman struggled to a third-round 75 amid blustery conditions but still holds a two-shot lead at 10-under par in the ISPS Handa Vic Open on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Kaufman, a native of Clark, S.D., shot an opening-round 66 on the Beach Course (par 72) and followed it with a 66 on the par-73 Creek Course on Friday to take the lead into the weekend at 13th Beach GolfLinks in Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia.

But windy conditions on Saturday led to Kaufman struggling with four bogeys and one double bogey, offset by a clutch birdie out of the bunker on No. 7 and two other birdies on the day.

Kaufman is up two on Celine Boutier of France (8-under) and Su Oh of Australia.

Billed as a baseline for sports equality, the tournament follows a format unique to professional golf. Men and women play on the same courses in alternating groups competing for equal prize money. The ISPS Handa Vic Open is jointly sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the ALPG, the European Tour and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

Australian Wade Ormsby took control on the men's side, shooting a steady 2-under 70 to move to 15-under par. Fellow Australian Matthew Stieger, who somehow shot 65 on Saturday, and Callum Shinkwin of England are tied for second two strokes back.

Australians Nick Flanagan and Jason Scrivener, who were tied for the lead at 14-under after two rounds, both shot 4-over 76 to fall into a tie for 10th.

Kaufman missed 12 of 14 cuts to end the 2018 season and went to Q School in Pinehurst, N.C., to improve her standing. She credits that time committed to her game, and her recovery from an extended bout of mononucleosis, for helping her get back on her feet. Kaufman applauded the tournament format this week.

"I just think it's such a great thing they're doing, equal pay and we all want more prize money and equal prize money," said Kaufman, who serves as a player director on the LPGA's Board of Directors. "Maybe it's not $10 million. But it is someone who's starting to do this, I think it's awesome."

Australia's Minjee Lee, the defending women's champ, missed the cut after shooting a 74 in the third round.