In­bee Park shoots 66, leads af­ter 3rd round

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY PAT EATON-ROBB

South Korean stars In­bee Park and Sei Yong Kim added an­other chap­ter to their friendly ri­valry on Satur­day.

Park shot a 7-un­der 66 and over­took Kim on the fi­nal hole to take a two-stroke lead into the fi­nal round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Cham­pi­onship.

Kim, a rookie who came into the day with a one-stroke lead, shot a 69. The two had bat­tled all af­ter­noon each went into the fi­nal hole at 13-un­der par. But Park, who needed just 28 putts Satur­day, made her sev­enth birdie of the day on 18, and Kim missed a 4-foot putt for par.

The 26-year-old Park said her ex­pe­ri­ence in win­ning this tour­na­ment each of the last two years may give her a bit of an ad­van­tage Sun­day over her 22-year-old coun­try­woman. Kim has won twice this sea­son, but will be look­ing for her first ma­jor cham­pi­onship on Sun­day.

“It feels like the first time is al­ways hard, al­ways hard to do and it puts ex­tra pres­sure on your­self,” Park said. “But when you’re try­ing to do the sec­ond, third time in a row, it just feels like you’ve done your homework al­ready. So you feel a lit­tle bit more re­laxed and you kind of know how it feels like and how it’s go­ing to play like.”

Kim said she plans to use the bo­gey on the 18th as “medicine” on Sun­day to help her get bet­ter.

She also has a re­cent his­tory that should give her some con­fi­dence. Kim beat Park at the Lotte Open in Hawaii by chip­ping in to force a play­off and hol­ing out from 154 yards on the first sud­den-death hole.

“Well, that’s a past story,” Kim said. “I want to write a new story to­mor­row.”

A win here could al­low Park to catch top-ranked Ly­dia Ko in the rank­ings. Ko missed the cut on Fri­day, end­ing her streak of 53 con­sec­u­tive made cuts.

Park could also tie An­nika Soren­stam (2003-05), who is the only golfer who has claimed this ti­tle in three con­sec­u­tive years, an ac­com­plish­ment Park would list among the most im­pres­sive in her ca­reer.

“I have to say it would be pretty close to win­ning three ma­jors in a row,” she said. “That was my big­gest ac­com­plish­ment ever in my ca­reer, but if I’m able to do this to­mor­row, I think that will def­i­nitely be like tied for first.”

Kim and Park will go into Sun­day with some sep­a­ra­tion from the rest of the pack. Suzann Pet­tersen and 17-year-old Canadian sen­sa­tion Brooke Hen­der­son each shot a 71. They ended tied with Hall of Famer Kar­rie Webb for third place at 8-un­der par, six strokes back of Park.

‘Al­ways like to be com­ing from be­hind’

Hen­der­son is at­tempt­ing to be­come the youngest win­ner of a ma­jor cham­pi­onship. She is also look­ing for a win that would as­sure her a spot on the Tour next year af­ter be­ing de­nied an age ex­emp­tion.

“This year is def­i­nitely a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me,” she said. “It’s a year where I’m try­ing to play my best and get my card for next year ... whether it’s the money list or the win this year, or go to Q-School. My goal is to have full sta­tus next year.”

At the other end of the spec­trum is Webb. The 40-year-old is at­tempt­ing to be­come the sec­on­dold­est win­ner in the 60 year his­tory of the event. Webb was in sec­ond place to start the day, but had to over­come bo­geys on her first two holes to shoot a 72. She will be try­ing to win her eighth ma­jor.

“If I had told you I was go­ing to shoot 1-un­der to­day, I wouldn’t have thought I was go­ing to be six be­hind,” she said. “It’s go­ing to take a big round to­mor­row from me and prob­a­bly some help from the lead­ers.

Pet­tersen is on a hot streak af­ter win­ning last week in On­tario, for her 15th tour victory, her first since Oc­to­ber 2013.

Mor­gan Pres­sel is in sixth place. She went 5-un­der on the back nine to fin­ish a round of 69, in­clud­ing an ea­gle af­ter on 18.

“When I got to the 18th tee and I saw that the tee was moved up a lit­tle bit, plus it was down­wind, I said to my cad­die, I said def­i­nitely we can get there to­day if we hit a good drive and I did,” she said.

Brit­tany Lin­ci­come, who won the first LPGA ma­jor of the year at the ANA In­spi­ra­tion, moved into con­tention and a three-way tie for sev­enth place.

Af­ter drop­ping two strokes the first eight holes, she made five con­sec­u­tive birdies on the ninth through 13 holes. The 29-year-old Amer­i­can picked up a sixth on the 15th hole and had a birdie putt lip out on No. 17. She fin­ished with a 69.

“I al­ways like to be com­ing from be­hind,” she said. “I don’t like lead­ing af­ter two or three rounds be­cause it makes me more ner­vous, I have to do more in­ter­views and there’s more at­ten­tion, so if I’m com­ing from be­hind and chas­ing peo­ple, it seems to be more of my com­fort zone.”

AP

Min­jee Lee, of Australia, hits her tee shot on the 4th hole dur­ing the third round of the KPMG Women’s PGA golf cham­pi­onship at Westch­ester Coun­try Club in Har­ri­son, New York on Satur­day, June 13.

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