Choi in charge in Bahamas LPGA Classic

Last Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 21:57

Paradise Island: South Korea`s Choi Na-Yeon birdied three of her last four holes on Saturday to seize a one-shot third-round lead at the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic.

The seven-time LPGA Tour winner posted a seven-under par 66 for a 15-under total of 204 and had a one-stroke lead over American Lizette Salas -- whose own 66 put her on 205.

"I think the last three rounds I had a really good swing," Choi said. "I had so many solid shots out there. I missed two greens today. Only two, but I hit a putt from the fringe, so obviously I haven`t chipped the last two rounds."

Salas will be seeking her first title on Sunday on the Ocean Club course.

"I was working really hard during the offseason with my coach. Seeing results this quickly, I`ve been feeling really good about it," she said.

Overnight leader Jessica Korda and playing partner Paula Creamer both eagled the par-five 18th to grab a share of third place on 12-under 207.

Korda carded a 72. Her eagle at the last, where she landed her second shot within two feet, helped counter a double-bogey at 13.

Creamer`s closing eagle helped her overcome a triple bogey from the water at 15. She carded a 71.

Stacy Lewis, the highest-ranked player in the field at number three in the world, carded a 68 and jumped into a share of fifth on 208. She was tied with Amelia Lewis (66) and Monday qualifier Jenny Suh (71).

"I actually like where I am and I like that I`m going to get out tomorrow a couple groups early and hopefully can make a couple putts early and then kind of put some pressure on the leaders," Stacy Lewis said.

New Zealand 16-year-old Lydia Ko, playing her first tournament as an LPGA Tour member, carded a 71 that left her in a group of six players on 209.

Ko, who turned pro last year after a stellar amateur career, is the second-highest ranked player in the field at number four in the world.

Both Choi and Salas played without a bogey on Saturday. Salas briefly grabbed sole possession of the lead after her seventh birdie of the day at the 15th.

She couldn`t find another birdie however, and Choi notched the last two of her seven birdies at 16 and 18 to gain the lead.

AFP

First Published: Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 21:57

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