In-Kyung Kim fired a bogey-free 6-under 66 in the third round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and will take a six shot lead into Sunday’s final round at Kingsbarns.
Kim got off to a fast start with four birdies in her first seven holes, and then cruised to 2-under the rest of the way to get to 17-under, and six clear of the field.
Afterwards, the 27-year old Korean cited her efforts on and off the course for her recent improved performance.
“I just feel like I’ve done a lot of good things on and off the golf course and I think it’s really helping me out,” Kim said. “It’s showing on the golf course.”
The 17-under shot by Kim broke the 54-hole record of 16-under set by Ariya Jutanugarn at Woburn last year. The tournament record of 19-under is also well within her reach if she remains focused on Sunday.
“Sometimes things don’t go the way I want it but that’s not something I can control, but I will try to focus on what I can control and enjoy and have some fun too,” an upbeat Kim told LPGA.com.
Tied for second, but six shots back at 11-under, is England’s Georgia Hall and Moriya Jutanugarn (67) of Thailand.
Hall, who played with Kim, was in the hunt for much of the day, and just 3 back through 15 holes. But the 21-year old made of mess of 16 (bogey) and 17 (double-bogey) to drop three shots and finish at 2-under 70.
Afterwards, Hall admitted six is a big number to overcome, but still sounded confident.
“Six shots is quite a lot but on this course, you can make a lot of birdies,” said Hall. “I think I’m going to have to go quite low tomorrow but it’s definitely scoreable.”
Inbee Park, who won this event in 2015, and American Ally McDonald (70) are tied for fourth at 10-under. Park hit 12 of 14 fairways on her way to the low round of the day, 8-under 64.
American Stacy Lewis also had a terrific day, posting a 7-under 65 to get to 9-under, and solo sixth.
First round leader Michelle Wie bounced back from a second-round 76 to post a solid 3-under 69, and moving up into a tie for 13th. Lexi Thompson is also at T13, except she fell to that position after struggling to a 2-over 74.
In-Kyung Kim Scorecard
1 In-Kyung Kim -17
2 Moriya Jutanugarn -11
2 Georgia Hall -11
4 Inbee Park -10
4 Ally McDonald -10
6 Stacy Lewis -9
7 Mi Hyang Lee -8
7 Jaye Marie Green -8
7 Caroline Masson -8
7 Melissa Reid -8
7 Angel Yin -8
7 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -8
In-Kyung Kim – Round 3 Highlights
Quotable: In-Kyung Kim
“It’s been quite tough, but I started to work on myself, not only on the golf course, but off the golf course. Just be nice to myself and able to have some kind of compassion and gentleness with myself. I think it’s really helping me to play better I think on the golf course.”
Credit: LPGA Tour Communications, LPGA.com, Getty Images