[PHOTO: Harry How/Getty Images]

Perth’s Hannah Green is primed to defend the JM Eagle LA Championship, but her greatest threat is Sydneysider Grace Kim [pictured] with whom she shares the 54-hole lead in Los Angeles.

The pair are seven-under 206 and one stroke ahead of Germany’s Ester Henseleit, Swede Maja Stark and Korea’s Jin Hee Im who rocketed up the leaderboard with the day’s low round of 63 in windy conditions.

Queensland’s Karis Davidson is three-under, four strokes behind in a tie for 10th. NSW’s Sarah Kemp is five behind and tied for 15th.

The treelined Wilshire Country Club layout has been a happy hunting ground for Australians with triumphs by Green (2023) and Minjee Lee (2019).

Green is seeking her second LPGA victory of the year after winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

The 27-year-old was treading water after a mid-round lull until she eagled the par-5 13th and added two more birdies in a four-hole stretch.

Kim began the tournament with rounds of 64-66 to lead by four strokes through 36 holes. But it was a round to forget on Saturday when she failed to card a birdie in a five-over 76. Kim hit 14 greens but was cold on the greens with 36 putts.

“It’s tough for everyone today,” Kim said post-round. “It was just one of those days. It’s just golf.”