Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Park takes to two-shot lead in New York

Reuters, HARRISON, New York

Taiwan’s Wei-ling Hsu lines up a putt during the KPMG Championship at the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, New York, on Saturday.

Photo: AP

World No. 2 Inbee Park is on track for a triple treat after making birdies at the final two holes on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead going into the final round of the KPMG Championship.

Park’s late surge propelled her past fellow South Korean Kim Sei-young, who stumbled by four-putting from just off the green at the final hole at Westchester Country Club in suburban New York.

Park, who shot seven-under-par 66, was in position to tick several boxes yesterday.

A win would be her third in a row in this major event. She would also reclaim the world No. 1 spot and exact revenge for a startling playoff defeat earlier this year.

“I don’t know how to describe in words how I’m going to feel tomorrow if I ended up winning it, but definitely it will feel very good,” Park, 26, said after posting a 14-under 205 total.

LPGA Tour rookie Kim, who led by one after Friday’s second round, held a one-shot lead until Park tied her with a birdie at 17.

The par-five 18th was disastrous for the 22-year-old Kim, who almost reached the green with her second shot, but took four more to hole out.

Her long eagle putt from just short of the green left her eight feet away. Her birdie putt to remain tied for the lead slid four feet by and she missed the par putt and bogeyed to shoot 69 for 207.

The final round is shaping up as a possible two-player duel.

Park is six strokes clear of third-placed former champions Suzann Pettersen of Norway (71), Australian Karrie Webb (72) and 17-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson (71).

Park was gunning for her sixth major and is virtually assured of reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking from Lydia Ko of New Zealand, needing only to finish 29th to top the rankings.

Victory over Kim would also provide some payback for Park. They are paired to play together in the final round.

Kim chipped in to force a playoff with Park at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April and won by holing out an eight-iron from the fairway for eagle in sudden-death.

“I have to say my history with her is not great,” Park said. “I lost in a playoff to her in Lotte, and she won in the Bahamas when I played with her. So she probably feels like: ‘I win when I play with Inbee,’ because it’s twice she won.”

Kim said she did not have to rely on magical shots to beat Park.

“That’s a past story,” she said through a translator. “I want to write a new story tomorrow.”

Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung finished tied for 18th on three-under 216, while Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling was a stroke further back on two-under.

Fellow Taiwanese Min Lee was tied for 54th with a three-over 222.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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