SINGAPORE: Teen sensation Nelly Korda powered her way into the lead at the HSBC Women’s World Championship Saturday as a third-round seven-under par 65 left the American poised to claim her first LPGA Tour title and a unique hat-trick of sporting successes for the Korda clan this year.
It was a day of high drama as the chasing pack went out in hunt of overnight leader, rising American star Danielle Kang, as former world number ones Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Park In-bee of South Korea continued to lag behind, finishing tied for 12th and 30th respectively.
American star Michelle Wie leads a group of four players tied for fifth at 10-under after she shot a six-under 66.
But the day belonged to the 56th-ranked Korda, in just her second year on the LPGA Tour but has so far already finished in the top-10 six times.
“I was aggressive when I needed to be, so I’m just happy with the way it ended and really looking forward to tomorrow,” said the 19-year old after ending the day on 15-under 201.
Korda went on a birdie blitz through the middle of her round, picking up five strokes from across holes six to 11 to put the pressure on Kang.
Up until that point the 25-year-old Kang’s play had been flawless but bogies on 15 and 18 saw her hand up the lead to the charging Korda, who leads by a stroke from her rival going into the final round.
A victory would certainly be in keeping with tradition among a Korda clan sired by former tennis pro father Petr, winner of the 1998 Australian Open.
Korda’s elder sister Jessica won the Honda LPGA Thailand last weekend while her younger tennis-playing brother Sebastian picked up the boys’ singles at the Australian Open back in January.
Korda admitted to feeling a little sibling heat coming into the Sentosa Golf Club, saying she had been reminded that it was her turn to win “all the time.”
“I try not to think about it too much, but I’m just going to go back to the hotel and relax,” she said.
Kang left the course vowing to fix the iron play that she felt let her down on Saturday. Her four on the par-three 15 came after Kang had been left with too much work to do when her chip from just off the green fell short by about 40 feet.
It has been an interesting tournament so far for the world number 21, who broke a tooth before a shot was fired, worked her way to the half-way lead and then revealed she had only made the first tee today with a minute to spare.
“Drama loves me,” she said “I grinded it out today. I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow.” — AFP / The SUN Daily /Posted on 3 March 2018 – 07:18pm / Last updated on 3 March 2018 – 07:35pm