Lydia Ko takes lead after 3rd round of US Women's Open

by Sadie Mccarthy Julio 11, 2016, 5:21
Lydia Ko takes lead after 3rd round of US Women's Open

The contingent of South Koreans in the field-a South Korean has won the U.S. Open in four of the last five years-is making its presence felt once again.

World number one Lydia Ko has moved into the lead after day three of the US Women's Open at the CordeValle Golf Club in California.

Her odds would figure to be very good.

In Ko's first two major championship victories, she came from behind to win in the final round.

Ko is at 7-under 209 for the tournament, one shot ahead of Eun-Hee Ji and second-round leader Sung Hyun Park, both of South Korea, entering the final round Sunday. Maybe, but they'll likely have to duplicate what they did in the third round, and in some cases, better.

Lydia Ko remembers her hands shaking so badly she could barely set her ball on her putting line after marking it on the first hole in her first start in a U.S. Women's Open. Moreover, she would be the youngest three-time major championship victor in history.

"You just never know what's going to happen", she said about what her mindset will be on Sunday. It's been a frustrating week for the victor of the last major, who had higher expectations coming in to the U.S. Women's Open.

That was back at Blackwolf Run when Ko was 15, but she doesn't think being nervous really had much to do with her age. But she doesn't cower from nerves, she embraces them.

This championship holds a special place in Stanford's heart, and she's particularly fond of this part of the country. "I knew that it would play a lot tougher than yesterday, because the majority of my round yesterday was played in calm weather", Ko told reporters. I think nerves are good because it means you're excited. You're ready. It means a lot to you. "I play, focus on my game and try to be patient out there". She made two other long birdies Saturday, a 25-foot downhill putt on No. 3 and a long left-to-right swinging putt on No. 13 that she initially thought she had over-read. "I ended up coming home at 5 a.m. My throat was a little weird the next day, and I don't think I've sweated that much in my life". She came from one shot down when she won the ANA Inspiration in April.

Ko had a two-shot lead heading to the eighth hole and seemed on her way to becoming the youngest man or woman to win three majors. "At the end of the day, it's just a game and today just wasn't my day", she said. "I want my mom's cooking, and that's it".

Meanwhile, those who started in front of her at the midway point were far more inconsistent. Second-round leader Park shot a 2-over 74 following a second-round 66 and was undone by a double bogey at the ninth and bogeys at the 14th and 16th. She dropped yet another shot with a bogey on the par-3 12th hole to drop back to 4-under par.

Perhaps sitting in the best spot is Ji, an experienced player who claimed the title in 2009, one of seven South Koreans who've won the past 11 Opens.

Lang wasn't the only American to make a move on Saturday.

But Lang followed that up with her first three-putt of the week when she just missed a par from about 5 feet, leading to groans from the crowd.

CHAMPIONS: John Riegger wasn't sure he'd be able to play the second round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open because of a lingering case of shingles.

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