Inbee Park opens huge lead, LPGA enjoys eagle-fest at Kia Classic


Inbee Park shot a second straight 69 and her third round in the 60s this week to race out to a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the Kia Classic.

Park, who has 20 wins in her LPGA career, had four birdies and a bogey on Saturday at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.

Mel Reid, Minjee Lee and Mi Jung Hur are all at 7 under, five back.

Madelene Sagstrom doubled the first hole on Saturday but then ripped off birdies on seven of her next eight holes, made the turn with a 31 and went on to post the best round of the week so far with a 64. With 11 birdies, she ties the LPGA mark for second-most birdies in a round.

“The course was set up quite nicely today. I could reach two par-4s and I hit really good tee shots on both of those, took advantage of that,” she said. “I just hit some really, really good iron shots that were quite easy, and then I made a few putts. No bombs, nothing crazy. It was really steady play and really good iron play.”

She definitely found something after posting scores of 72 and 74 the first two days. Sagstrom is in a three-way tie in 5th with World No. 1 Jin Young Ko and Lexi Thompson.

Kia Classic: Leaderboard

A big story on Saturday was the eagle frenzy.

There were 11 eagles in the round, with Amy Olson having two of them, one on the 8th hole and another on 16 after she drove the green.

Marina Alex also had two of them.

She, too, eagled the 16th and then two holes later, she one-hopped in another eagle to end her round.

Other eagles on Saturday:

  • Minjee Lee, 9th
  • Cydney Clanton, 8th
  • Nelly Korda, 8th
  • Ssu-Chia Cheng, 16th
  • So Yeon Ru, 9th
  • Aditi Ashok, 8th
  • Hannah Green, 9th

The Aviara course on Saturday was playing 6,125 yards, setting up two drivable par 4s.

Yardage the first two days checked in at 6,408 and 6,437.





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