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Eunjung Yi leads LPGA's Jamie Farr Classic

She makes eight birdies and shoots a 61 to take a four-shot lead heading into the final round.

July 05, 2009|Associated Press

No one was more surprised to find Eunjung Yi leading the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic through three rounds than, well, Eunjung Yi.

"I'm the leader?" she repeated, incredulous, when asked how it felt to be leading the pack at Sylvania, Ohio. "Really? I didn't know that. By four strokes?"

Yi recorded eight birdies and an eagle in a 10-under-par 61 to build a four-shot lead Saturday over Song-Hee Kim (64) and Morgan Pressel (67).

The 21-year-old Yi, who has never finished better than a tie for 11th in her 23 LPGA Tour events, was at 18-under 195 after putting up the lowest third-round score in the tournament's 25 years.

"I like this course. I can shoot very good," she said, disdaining a translator. "We have more holes tomorrow. I'll stay focused."

Yi grew up in South Korea but now spends summers at a rambling home in the San Diego area with her father, mother, two brothers and a sister -- who joined her in the U.S. two years ago. Her father runs a Korean restaurant.

"If I win, my dad will give everyone a free meal," she said with a laugh.

After starting the day tied for seventh and three shots back of Sarah Kemp and Laura Diaz, Yi birdied four holes on the front side and then started the back by holing a 110-yard pitching wedge from the fairway for eagle.

"I thought it was a little short but it went in the hole," she said.

Yi, never known for her putting, needed just 22 putts to break her previous scoring low on tour by five strokes.

"My putting is always bad, but today was different," said Yi, who earned a spot in her first Women's British Open during qualifying over the opening 36 holes of the Farr.

The highlight of Kim's round was an eagle at the 17th that helped her pick up her second 64 of the week.

"I didn't have any bogeys today," she said. "It was a very clean round."

Pressel, seeking her third career win and first of the year, also avoided any bogeys. She figured she was one of many who could still take the $210,000 first-place check.

"There are more people than just me who have a chance," she said. "We've seen that three days in a row, where someone has gone crazy and made a lot of putts."

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa birdied three of the first five holes before racking up 13 consecutive pars in a 67 that left her at 202 with Natalie Gulbis.

Michelle Wie, who needs a victory in this event to get into next week's U.S. Open, hit 16 greens in regulation but was near the bottom of the field in putting. She shot a 70 and was at 204. When she finally rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 16th hole, she raised both arms in mock celebration.


French Open

Rafa Echenique of Argentina held onto his lead at the French Open, shooting a one-under 70 for a one-stroke advantage over Martin Kaymer of Germany after the third round at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

The Argentine, seeking his first European Tour victory, was at 11-under 202 after starting the day with a two-stroke lead on Kaymer.

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