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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Park and riding high - Brazilian Angela
leads Evian Masters by one stroke

Teenager Angela Park birdied the last three holes to maintain a one-stroke lead on 14-under-par 202 after the third round of the Evian Masters at Evian-les-Bains, France today.
The 19-year-old Brazilian, whose mother and father are both South Koreans, holds dual nationality with the United States.
She posted five birdies and one bogey for a four-under-68 and a one-stroke lead over Taiwan’s Candie Kung, who holds a U.S. passport.
Park was the 2007 Rookie of the Year on the LPGA Tour and is seeking her first professional victory. Her career best finish was a tie for second at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, where she finished in joint third place this year.
Park said: “I was playing mediocre throughout the whole round. Then I told myself: 'You've still got three or four holes left and it's pretty easy holes coming in, so you can get enough birdies out there.' I didn't see anyone go extremely low, so I tried to stay positive, and it came around.”
Park went bogey free for the first 48 holes but dropped her first shot of the tournament at the par-4 13th where she three-putted from 25ft.
“I was very patient out there today and nothing went in the first couple holes, and I kept telling myself that you can't hurry anything, and sooner or later it will come around,” said Park. “So I think tomorrow, even if I have a good start or bad start it doesn't matter but I'm just going to stay out there, stay focused and stay patient.
“I feel like I'm ten years older than last year. I don't know, it's been a tremendous experience.” Kung carded seven birdies and two bogeys for a five-under-par 67, which was the joint best score of the day. She has not been in serious contention since she won three tournaments in 2003 and said: “I think it's mainly just putting for me this year so far. I've been hitting the ball great; just putting's been struggling.”
The Texas-based player learned her golf in the Unites States after she moved there in 1995 from Taiwan.
Inkster, the 2003 Evian Masters champion, moved into third place on 11-under-par 205 after a 69. At the age of 48, a second Evian Masters title would see her become the oldest winner in the history of women’s pro golf.
Following a 63 in the second round, Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson remained in contention. She shot a 71 to finish the day in in fourth place on ten-under-par 206.
South Koreans Shi Hyun Ahn and Na-Yeon Choi share fifth place 207 with four players in a tie for seventh on 208. They include the World No.1 Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, the 2005 Evian Masters champion Paula Creamer, last year’s U.S. Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr (both from the USA) and South Korea’s Jin Joo Hong.
Ochoa conceded that it would take a low round of seven or eight under par for her to win her first Evian Masters. “I can do it. There were a few low rounds in this tournament and I’m going to be positive and hopefully I’ll start good tomorrow and just go from there,” she said.
“We have perfect weather, not much wind and some pin placements were accessible to make birdies. In my case, I didn’t make any putts, but I was really close to shooting a low round, I just couldn’t make any putts. I’m frustrated and hopefully they’ll drop in tomorrow.”
Tee times begin at 7.49am on Sunday with the final pairing of Park and Kung out at 1.10pm.