Jin Young Ko turned a four-stroke deficit into a five-stroke lead in 10 holes at the ANA Inspiration at Rancho Mirage (Riverside County). She nearly gave it all back, setting up a final-round shootout in the first major championship of the LPGA Tour’s golf season.
Ko ended up with a one-shot advantage over second-round leader In-Kyung Kim, shooting a 4-under-par 68 in unexpected calm conditions Saturday at Mission Hills to reach 8-under 208.
“If I miss a shot a little bit, it’s OK,” Ko said. “I’m not robot. I’m human. Don’t think about bad things. Just looking for good things.”
Kim birdied the par-5 18th for a 73, keeping herself in the hunt to win the event seven years after missing a 14-inch putt on the final hole of regulation and losing to Sun Young Yoo on the first hole of a playoff.
Mi Hyang Lee and Danielle Kang were 5-under. Lee had a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in a 68. Kang shot 70.
Augusta National Women’s Amateur: NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest became the first woman to win a title at Augusta National in Georgia with a charge on the back nine so often seen at the home of the Masters.
Photo: David Goldman / Associated Press
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Trailing by two with six holes to play, Kupcho went for the green on the par-5 13th to set up an eagle. That carried her to a sensational closing stretch and a four-shot victory over the University of Arkansas’ Maria Fassi in the inaugural event. Kupcho with a 5-under 67, playing the final six holes in 5 under, for a 10-under 204 total.
“You’re now part of the history at Augusta National,” club chairman Fred Ridley told her in Butler Cabin, where Masters champions receive their green jacket.
Stanford’s Andrea Lee shot a 76 to finish tied for 26th at 7-over 223.
PGA Tour: Si Woo Kim narrowly missed a second hole-in-one in two days and saw his four-shot lead trimmed to one over Monday qualifier Corey Conners after the third round of the Texas Open in San Antonio.
Kim aced the 16th hole at the TPC San Antonio on Friday, and he missed it by inches on the way to a third round 3-under 69. He was at 15-under, and Conners, trying to become the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour since 2010, was a stroke back after shooting a 6-under 66.
Charley Hoffman, the 2016 Texas Open winner, moved up the leaderboard with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish and the week’s best round of 64 and was two back.
Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth started the day tied for second, four shots back. Both finished eight shots out of the lead after ballooning to rounds of 1-over 73.
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