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Park curls in birdie putt on 18 to take lead at Kia Classic

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CARLSBAD, Calif. – Inbee Park curled in an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for her second straight 5-under 67 and the third-round lead Saturday in the Kia Classic, the final event before the major ANA Inspiration.

Winless in a full calendar year, the seven-time major champion from South Korea had a one-stroke advantage over Nasa Hataoka after a low-scoring day in perfect conditions at Aviara Golf Club. Seeking her 20th LPGA Tour victory, Park had a 14-under 202 total.


Full-field scores from Kia Classic


Hataoka, the 20-year-old Japanese player who won two LPGA Tour titles last season, shot a 64.

Thidapa Suwannapura was two strokes back after a 70.

Mi Jung Hur shot a course-record 62 to join top-ranked Sung Hyun Park at 11 under. Hur had seven straight birdies on the back nine.

Tied with Suwannapura for the second-round lead, Sung Hyun Park shot 71.