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Archive for Sunday, June 23, 2002

Kim repeats round of 67

Webb five strokes back in LPGA event

June 23, 2002

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— Karrie Webb never had the first shot on Saturday. That's all you need to know about how well Mi Hyun Kim played on the third round at the LPGA Rochester International.

Kim shot her second straight 5-under-par 67 and finished the day 13 under at 203. That was five shots better than Webb, alone in second after shooting 72 for the second day in a row over the narrow Locust Hill Country Club course.

Mi Hyun Kim tears into a tee shot on Saturday in New York.

Mi Hyun Kim tears into a tee shot on Saturday in New York.

They began the round tied at 8 under and played together in the final group. Kim had the first shot by virtue of her better score on Saturday, birdied the first hole, and never relinquished honors all day against one of the top players in the world.

"That (birdie) was very important," Kim's caddie, Worth Blackwelder, said. "This course has very narrow fairways, and No. 1 is one of the tightest. It was a very big boost."

Kim, who last week tied for second at the Evian Masters in France, her third top-5 in 11 starts this year, has won three tournaments since joining the tour in 1999. She's never been in this position before, though five shots ahead with 18 holes to play.

"I'll try to do my best game tomorrow," said Kim, who has gone in the 60s on six of her last seven rounds.

Kim's accuracy she hit 14 greens in regulation kept leaving her with easy birdie putts. She converted a 4-footer on the first hole, a 2-footer at No. 6, and an 8-footer at No. 8.

A 20-foot birdie putt at the ninth hole gave Kim a four-shot lead over Webb, who struggled off the tee for the second straight round and carded four bogeys.

Webb hit only seven of 14 fairways and had to watch her playing partner quickly pull away, her pigtails bouncing with every step as the galleries cheered the 25-year-old Korean.

"She saw how I played today," said Webb, who has won 26 tournaments in her six years on tour but none this year. "She's got to be feeling pretty good where she's at. My only friend tomorrow will be if we have some weather."

Webb, who had a 64 on the first round, also has the experience of winning here in 1999 by one stroke over Cindy McCurdy. And she did it by shooting birdies on the final three holes.

Webb duplicated that feat Saturday to stay in contention.

"I finally stopped worrying about missing the fairway," she said.

Defending champ Laura Davies was one shot behind Webb after a 69 and Juli Inkster was alone in fourth at 210 after a 67. Se Ri Pak shot 67 and was at 211, while Beth Daniel skied to a 74 and shot 212 total.

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