Park stretches lead to five strokes at Kia Classic

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – LPGA Hall of Famer Park In-bee of South Korea fired a three-under par 69 and stretched her lead to five strokes after Saturday’s third round of the LPGA Kia Classic.

Park, a seven-time major champion seeking her 21st career LPGA title, stood on 12-under 204 after 36 holes at Aviara, north of San Diego.

“I think it’s just going to be the same game plan that I have done for last three days, and hopefully things work out just exactly the same as what we have done for three days,” Park said. “Just trying to hit a lot of fairways and greens and hopefully the putts will fall.”

After leading by only a single stroke when the day began, Park seized command as rivals stumbled, leaving England’s Mel Reid, Australian Minjee Lee and South Korean Hur Mi-jung sharing second on 209.

Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom fired a 64 to share fifth on 210 with South Korean Ko Jin-young and American Lexi Thompson.

It’s Park’s first event of the year as she prepares for next week’s ANA Inspiration.