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Hyo Joo Kim rallies to maintain 3-shot lead in windy LOTTE Championship

Hyo Joo Kim rallies to maintain 3-shot lead in windy LOTTE Championship

EWA BEACH, Hawaii — Hyo Joo Kim rallied with two late birdies for an even-par 72 to take care of a three-stroke lead Friday within the LPGA Tour’s LOTTE Championship.

After dropping strokes on the par-4 seventh and par-3 twelfth together with her solely bogeys of the week at breezy Hoakalei Nation Membership, Kim birdied the par-4 14th and par-5 18th to get again to 10 beneath with one spherical left.

“It was very windy in the present day,” stated Kim, the 26-year-old South Korean participant who gained the final of her 4 LPGA Tour titles in 2019. “There was numerous wind going forwards and backwards. I feel it was troublesome as a result of it was not particularly (from one) path. The pin place was additionally troublesome in comparison with the primary and second rounds. I had a tough time in that regard.”

Kim almost holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on 18.

“It was crucial as a result of it was a matter of over par or not. I had an opportunity on the sixteenth gap, however I missed so I used to be a bit indignant,” stated Kim, the winner of the foremost Evian Championship in 2014. “Now I really feel significantly better since I made a birdie on the final gap.”

American Brianna Do (67) and Japan’s Hinako Shibuno (68) had been tied for second. Sunday qualifier Do birdied the primary three holes.

“It is type of good beginning off with a par 5,” Do stated. “You go driver, 3-wood after which you’ve got a wedge in hand. Yeah, beginning with a birdie at all times helps. It calms the nerves and type of will get you settled into the spherical.”

Do bumped into bother on the troublesome sixteenth gap, which encompasses a cut up fairway and a number of water options. Her tee shot discovered a bunker on an adjoining gap, her second hit a close-by tree and left her a shot out of the tough. Together with her third shot, nevertheless, Do discovered the inexperienced from over 200 yards and he or she went on to two-putt for bogey.

“I assumed I hit an excellent drive,” Do stated. “It is simply the wind pushed it a bit extra and I did not see it as a result of there have been just a few bushes over there, however I am guessing it received an unlucky kick into that bunker on 12, I feel,” Do stated.

Shibuno had a bogey-free spherical.

“Placing was extra stronger, and so, yeah that makes me birdie,” Shibuno stated.

Somi Lee and Stephanie Meadow had been 6 beneath. They every shot 69.