South Korea’s Yoo-jin Sung, who is aiming to break into the American scene next season, has taken a one-shot lead at the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Etisalat Championship 2023.
Sung made one eagle and seven birdies to go with three bogeys in the third round of the tournament at the par-72 Elysian Jeju Country Club in Jeju City on Thursday.
With a 12-under-par total of 204, Sung has a chance to win his second title of the season and third of his career after winning the Doosan Match Play Championship in May.
After four birdies in the first half, Sung faltered with back-to-back bogeys on the 10th and 11th (both par-4s).
But a shot eagle turned the tide.
On the 13th (par-4), her second shot with 143 metres to go landed left of the pin on the green and rolled into the hole.
“The ball was in a divot, so I grabbed my 6-iron and hit it with the idea of pressing,” Sung said. “I couldn’t see the green, but when I heard the gallery screaming, I knew it was an eagle.”
With her eagle back in her favour, Sung added three more birdies and a bogey on the remaining holes to finish her round on a high note.
“After playing the first and second qualifying rounds, I knew there was no difference in the quality of the players in the field,” said Sung, who has qualified for the final round of the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying School, which begins on 30 November in Alabama, USA. “I want to finish the Korean stage well and make it to the US next season.”
However, she is not alone in her pursuit.
Lee Ye-won, who has clinched the money title this season, shaved five strokes off her total to sit in a tie for second place with Kim Jae-hee on 11-under-par 205.
Lee played a steady game, making five birdies without a bogey.
Lim Hee-jeong, who shook off the after-effects of a car accident last year to make a fearsome second-half comeback, also cut six strokes to move into a tie for fourth at 10-under 206.
Hong Jung-min and Lee Seung-yeon also carded a 10-under-par total of 206 to trail the leaders by two strokes.
Im Jin-hee, who remains in contention with Lee for the Grand Prize points, shaved seven strokes off her overnight score and is tied for 11th at 8-under par 208.
In the third round, which was played after the early morning rain stopped, the greens were soft and the pins were in easier spots. The greens were softer and the pins were in easier spots, which helped many players shave strokes off their score, including seven eagles. 무료슬롯게임