Mon, Nov 16, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Inbee Park secures lead at Lorena Ochoa Invitational

AP, MEXICO CITY

Inbee Park on Saturday made two late birdies and shot five-under 67 to open a three-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

The second-ranked South Korean star hit a seven-iron to 3 feet to set up a birdie on the par-three 16th, and made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-five 17th.

“I was able to make a lot of putts and I was able to control the shots a bit better today,” Park said. “It’s a definitely a plus, because the last couple of days I’ve been making a lot mistakes.”

She had a 10-under 206 total at the tree-lined Club de Golf Mexico, where she struggled with distance control in the high altitude the first two days.

“Today was a bit cooler, but you just get used to it,” Park said. “It’s not so much about the weather as it is about the altitude. It’s about the distance control.”

Park is making her first start since withdrawing in China two weeks ago because of a cyst on her left middle finger. She has four victories this season, winning two of the five majors.

Kim Sei-young, also from South Korea, was second after a 70. She won the event two weeks ago in China for her third victory of the season and has wrapped up the tour’s rookie of the year award.

“On this course, tee shots are very important, so I’ll try to focus on them,” Kim said. “If I keep it in the fairway, I should play well.”

Kim beat Park on the first hole of a playoff in April in Hawaii, holing out from 154 yards for eagle. Kim forced the playoff with an 18-foot chip-in for par.

“She’s a tough player and she really gets other players going,” Park said about Kim. “She’s very competitive and passionate and it’s always good to play with a player like that in the final round... She’s a fighter and she makes those shots and putts where she needs them.”

South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda were tied for third at six-under. They each shot 69. Japan’s Sakura Yokomine was another stroke back, also after a 69.

Australia’s Minjee Lee, the second-round leader, had a 75 to drop into a tie for ninth at three-under.

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