Birdie binge gives Inbee Park one stroke lead

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WORLD No 1 Inbee Park of South Korea went on a birdie binge at the end of yesterday’s third round to take a one-stroke lead over American Morgan Pressel heading to the final round of a marathon day at the LPGA Championship.

Park, winner of three tournaments this year including the Kraft Nabisco major, birdied four of five holes from the 13th to post her second successive 68 with eight-under-par at 208.

Pressel, who held a two-shot lead over Park and Chella Choi as the overnight leader, stretched her advantage with three straight birdies to close the front nine to go nine under par, five shots clear of Park. But bogeys at the 10th and 12th holes combined with Park’s birdie spree enabled the South Korean to leapfrog Pressel, who finished with a 71 for seven-under 209.

Another shot back was Jiyai Shin of South Korea, who birdied the last two holes of the front nine to reach five under par, four back of Pressel’s pace. Shin registered three birdies and a pair of bogeys on the inward side for 69 and a six-under-par 210 total.

Four shots from the lead on 212, were South Koreans Choi Na-yeon and Yoo Sun-young, who both shot 70s. Compatriot Chella Choi shot a 73 for 213 before heading out for the second half of the 36-hole finish at the second major of the season.