Perfect Park in pole position but Ko and Lewis lurk

Sat Mar 7, 2015 5:14am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The top three players in women's golf will square off for the HSBC Champions title on Sunday with South Korean Park In-bee holding a two-shot advantage over world number one Lydia Ko and American Stacy Lewis.

Five-times major winner Park put herself in prime position to claim one of the few titles missing from her glittering resume by producing a third bogey-free round of the week as she fired a four-under-par 68 on Saturday for a 13-under 203 total.

New Zealand teen Ko and world number three Lewis were tied at 11-under after both made the most of slightly cooler temperatures in steamy Singapore to fire 67s.

Spaniard Carlota Ciganda, who shared the overnight lead with Park, slipped down into a tie for eighth after a two-over 74 left her at seven-under for the $1.4 million championship.

Her compatriot Azahara Munoz (70) and Scandinavians Suzann Pettersen (68) and Anna Nordqvist (68) were tied fourth at nine-under but they appear to be too far back to mount a challenge against the smooth-swinging Park.

The tricky Serapong Course on Sentosa Island has tripped up many but the South Korean has negotiated her way around 54 bogey free holes in an exemplary display.

"I hit a lot of shots really close and probably could have made a couple two, three more. Hopefully my putter works tomorrow," the Korean said.

She opened Saturday's third round with five straight pars before picking up two consecutive birdies at the par-four sixth and the generous par-five seventh to move ahead of the big-hitting Ciganda.

But while Park continued to churn out the solid pars, the Spaniard wilted with four bogey fives in seven holes from the 10th to fall away.   Continued...

Park In-bee of South Korea hits off the sixth tee during the first round of the LPGA Canadian Women's Open golf tournament in Coquitlam, British Columbia August 23, 2012.   REUTERS/Andy Clark