Inbee Park moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
The South Korean player had a 15-under 201 total at Guadalajara Country Club. She won the Evian Masters in France in July and the LPGA Malaysia last month and leads the LPGA Tour money list and the Vare Trophy race for the lowest scoring average.
”That would be two big achievements this season,” Park said. ”Earlier this season, everything didn’t really work well, especially my putting,” Park said. ”I was just trying to find the right stroke and right putter. I kept trying different putters and kept trying different strokes and just finally found my stroke. I felt really comfortable after that.”
Park also is trying to catch Stacy Lewis in the player of the year points race, but has to win Sunday and next week in the season-ending Titleholders to have any chance to pass Lewis.
”I can’t expect Stacy to play bad two events in a row,” Park said. ”Even if I don’t win player of the year, I’ve had a really great season and I’m really satisfied with myself.”
Cristie Kerr was second after a 67. She had some anxious moments on the fifth hole.
”I got locked in the bathroom,” Kerr said. ”I didn’t even lock the door, but the door just jammed itself shut and I’m like kicking and kicking trying to open the door and it got locked. … They had to open it from the other side. I was making a lot of noise thinking they were teeing off.”
So Yeon Ryu was third at 12 under after a 67. Second-round leader Angela Stanford was another stroke back after a 72, and Karine Icher had a 69 to reach 9 under.
The second-ranked Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the year last week in Japan, was tied for sixth at 8 under with Michelle Wie, Candie Kung and Hee Kyung Seo. Trying to become the first U.S. player of the year since Beth Daniel in 1994, Lewis shot a 71. Wie followed her second-round 75 with a 67, Kung had a 71, and Seo shot 69.
Suzann Pettersen, coming off consecutive victories in South Korea and Taiwan, was 4 under after a 68.
Ochoa was 3 under after a 70. The Mexican star won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring at age 28 in 2010. She missed the event last year before the birth of son Pedro in December.