Berliner Tageblatt - Aussie Kim moves clear at LPGA Meijer Classic

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Aussie Kim moves clear at LPGA Meijer Classic
Aussie Kim moves clear at LPGA Meijer Classic / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Aussie Kim moves clear at LPGA Meijer Classic

Australia's Grace Kim pulled clear of the field at the LPGA Meijer Classic on Saturday, firing a six-under-par 66 to open up a commanding five-shot lead heading into the final round.

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Kim started the third round alongside Ally Ewing at the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes at Blythefield Country Club in suburban Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But the 23-year-old from Sydney produced another dazzling round to put clear daylight between her and the chasing pack in her pursuit of a second career LPGA Tour win.

The Aussie rattled off a trio of birdies on the fifth, sixth and seventh holes to reach the turn three under for the day, 14 under overall.

There was a hiccup on the par-five 10th, when she took a bogey, but she was soon back into the groove with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes before extending her advantage to five shots by rolling in a six-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th.

Kim revealed afterwards she had been determined to avoid a repeat of her performance in Los Angeles earlier this season, when she led by four strokes after 36 holes only to blow up with a five-over-par 76 in her third round.

"I've dealt with this position in LA recently this year; I don't think I handled it very well. I was very nervous," she said.

"Whereas this morning I think I learnt from experience. Went to a cafe with my coach, had some avo on toast.

"I know I'm going to try my best for tomorrow and everyone else will. This golf course calls for lot of birdies and there are a lot of good players out here."

Overnight co-leader Ewing meanwhile could have stayed in striking distance of Kim but two late bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes dropped her into a cluster of five players on 12 under.

Ewing, who finished with a one-under-par 71, is tied for second alongside Sweden's Anna Nordqvist, South Korea's An Na-rin and Americans Allisen Corpuz and Lexi Thompson.

Thompson and Nordqvist took advantage of benign conditions to shoot seven-under-par 65s, the lowest scores of the third round.

Thompson's round included an incredible streak over the front nine where she reeled off four straight birdies followed by an eagle and a birdie to make the turn at seven under.

The 29-year-old, who shocked women's golf last month by announcing she will retire at the end of the season, said she was playing with a new sense of freedom after revealing her plan to walk away from the sport.

"Definitely a weight lifted off because it's something that's been on my mind for a bit," Thompson said.

"There is a lot of golf to be played the rest of the year, and I'm really looking forward to every time I tee it up."

She admitted though that days where she played as well as she did on Saturday gave her pause for thought about her looming retirement.

"Rounds like this make it harder, that's for sure," she joked. "I love the game. It's just an up and down sport as everybody knows."