Sei Young Kim takes third-round lead in Hawaii

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY ANN MILLER

Sei Young Kim has an­other chance to show she can pro­tect a fi­nal-round lead.

The 22-year-old Kim shot a 2-un­der 70 on Fri­day in wind gust­ing to 30 mph to top the South Korean-dom­i­nated leader­board in the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Cham­pi­onship.

Kim ral­lied to win in the Ba­hamas in Fe­bru­ary in her sec­ond start as an LPGA Tour mem­ber and came from be­hind in all four of her wins on the Korean LPGA Tour. But two weeks ago, she had a four-shot ad­van­tage go­ing into the fi­nal round of the ANA In­spi­ra­tion and fin­ished fourth in the ma­jor cham­pi­onship.

“I’m go­ing to en­joy and try to have a good time,” she said through an in­ter­preter. “In the fi­nal round of the ANA In­spi­ra­tion I was un­der a lot of pres­sure. I felt a lot of nerves.

“To­mor­row, I’m go­ing to try to do the same thing I’ve done the past three days here and try to en­joy the round. I think I’m go­ing to be able to come out with a dif­fer­ent out­come.”

I.K. Kim was a stroke back at Ko Olina af­ter a 71, and third- ranked In­bee Park was an­other shot be­hind af­ter a 69. Jenny Shin was fourth at 8 un­der af­ter a 70, and Chella Choi made it a South Korean sweep of the top five places, shoot­ing a 71 to get to 7 un­der.

I.K. Kim en­tered the round it for the lead, trailed by as many as three be­fore catch­ing up, then bo­geyed the fi­nal hole to fall back. She has won three times on the LPGA Tour, but the last came in 2010.

“It means a lot to me. I’ve been play­ing well the last few weeks and work­ing very hard this off­sea­son,” she said. “Where I’m at now I’m very com­fort­able ac­tu­ally.”

Park shot 69, with just one bo­gey. She has won 13 times, in­clud­ing six ma­jors, and fin­ished in the top five in the event the last two years.

“I think the most im­por­tant thing to win the tour­na­ment is putting,” said Park, the win­ner this year in Sin­ga­pore. “Clutch putts, putts in­side 10 feet, that’s prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant thing in the fi­nal round.”

Amer­i­can Paula Creamer (72) and Ja­pan’s Ai Miyazato ( 71) were 6 un­der. De­fend­ing cham­pion Michelle Wie had five bo­geys and four birdies in a 73 to fall eight shots back in her home event.

AP

Sei Young Kim, of South Korea, watches her drive off the 16th tee in the third round of the LPGA Lotte Cham­pi­onship golf tour­na­ment on Fri­day, April 17.

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