Sat, 22 Feb 2020

Park holds third-round lead in Tournament of Champions

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2020, 11:19 GMT+10

Inbee Park shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday and holds a two-shot lead over fellow South Korean Sei Young Kim after three rounds of the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Kim also shot a 67 to stick close behind Park, who has a 13-under 200 total after three trips around the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando.

Japan's Nasa Hataoka is three shots off the pace. France's Celine Boutier is another shot back with Mexico's Gaby Lopez and Canada's Brooke Henderson tied for fifth at 8 under.

Park carded five birdies and closed her round with a bogey on 18, her first of the tournament.

"It's always disappointing to finish with a bogey, but I kind of thought that make a bogey today and maybe not make any bogeys tomorrow," Park said after her round. "I think that can really give me some motivation or something that I don't need to think about, like I'm not making any bogeys until now or until then, now I've already made it.

"So I think I'll just go ahead and make some birdies tomorrow."

Earlier on the back nine, Park made three straight birdies on holes 13-15.

Park hit 12 of 13 fairways and will be seeking her 20th career LPGA victory on Sunday. She would be the 28th person to reach the milestone.

Kim had six birdies and two bogeys during her round. Five of the birdies and both bogeys came over the final seven holes.

"Today was pretty windy, but a different wind direction," Kim said after her round. "It was opposite. So it was tough to judge the right distance. Then a couple of holes were longer than the last two days.

"Yeah, so it wasn't easy, but I'm happy with good results."

Hataoka recorded five birdies and two bogeys while shooting 3-under 68. The 21-year-old is in good position to make a run at her fourth LPGA victory.

"The beginning of the season with this kind of event is really relaxing and it's really fun," Hataoka said. "If I'm playing a normal event, I get a little bit nervous, but this kind of event is more fun, and I'm really enjoying it."

Boutier shot a 69 with the highlight of her round being an eagle on the par-4, 16th hole. She also had three birdies and three bogeys and feels good about her game entering the final round.

"I'm pretty happy about it," Boutier said. "I am also excited that there's another round. I feel like I left a couple of shots out there the past two days, so I'm looking forward to trying to come back."

Lopez had two birdies and two bogeys while shooting 71. Henderson was a shot worse at 72 and dropped five shots off the lead after being the second-round co-leader with Park.

Henderson had four birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-3, 3rd hole. One of her bogeys came immediately after on No. 4.

"I was pretty confident standing on the third tee, and we were back and forth between two clubs and chose the wrong one, and it sort of changed my whole day, which was unfortunate," Henderson said.

"Made double there and bogeyed the next hole, so definitely not the start we were looking for. I feel like we fought pretty hard and nothing seemed to go my way too much today. It was a good fight out there. Hopefully tomorrow just a few more birdies."

Lexi Thompson, who shot a 69, is in seventh place at 7-under 206. Cydney Clanton (69), Angela Stanford (70) and first-round leader Danielle Kang (71) are at 6 under.

Defending champion Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea is in 25th-place at 4-over 217. She shot a 76 on Saturday.

--Field Level Media

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