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Park Forges Two-Stroke Edge in Taiwan
First-round leader Inbee Park of South Korea regained the outright lead through 54 holes of the Taiwan Championship. The $2 million LPGA Tour event is taking place at Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Yang Mei, Taiwan.
Park, who began the third round tied with Norway's Suzann Pettersen at 10-under 134, carded an 8-under 64 to reach 18-under 198, two strokes ahead of Pettersen, who posted a 66.
Park told reporters she was especially pleased with her outing Saturday. "I think today probably was almost perfect for me," said Park, who carded five birdies, two eagles - on the par-5 sixth and 13th holes - and a lone bogey. "I hit the ball great and putted really good today. So couldn't ask for better weather. It was a perfect day. The conditions of the golf course was perfect.
"I mean I was able to go at every pin, so I was able to play aggressive, and play with Suzann, I mean she hit the ball perfect. I mean not everything fell for her, but she played really fantastic, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Despite falling two shots back of Park, Pettersen is ready to go head-to-head against Park in the final round. "Today was another great round of golf," said Pettersen, whose 66 was preceded by a 69 and 65. "Feeling very good. I think it was all three of us that played pretty good and we kind of managed to kind of keep ourselves kind of keep the momentum going from hole to hole.
"It was kind of tough at times to play with Inbee that chipped in from everywhere," added the 31-year-old, who's coming off a win in last week's HanaBank Championship in South Korea. "I think Inbee had two eagles, but it was great because we pushed each other and you just kind of pushed the limits and it was great. Inbee played fantastic today, 8 under, so flawless."
Four strokes behind Park is defending champion and gallery favorite, Yani Tseng, who shot a 66 that involved four birdies and an eagle on the 13th. Tseng, the No. 1-ranked female player in the world, felt she could have gone even lower if she'd have done better on the greens. "I don't feel like 66 was a bad round for me. I feel like I left lots of birdie chances out there today," said the 23-year-old.
"And I didn't putt well again today, and I just feel very struggling out there," added the Taiwanese player, who now resides in Orlando, Fla. "But it was still good. Had a bogey free round and 6 under, but it's still very hard to catch Inbee and Suzann, but hopefully tomorrow can be aggressive and hopefully my putting is getting better tomorrow."
Alone in fourth at 204 is Scotland's Catriona Matthew (68), while Cristie Kerr is in fifth at 206 following a 67. Sharing sixth at 207 are South Korea's Na Yeon Choi (66), Paraguay's Julieta Granada (68) and Spain's Belen Mozo (66).
Other scores included a 67 by Paula Creamer, which moved her into a tie for 13th at 209; a 69 by Lexi Thompson (210); and a 68 by Michelle Wie (211).
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.