Kim Hyo-joo took a one-shot lead into the final day of the Evian Championship after a fine six-under round on Saturday, leading a pack of South Koreans at the top of the leaderboard.
Kim was not quite at the standard she set in 2014, when she became champion and produced a record round of 61 when she was only 19, but did enough to seize control of the major.
Only Ariya Jutanugarn posted a better score on moving day, the Thai equalling the best round of the week with a seven-under 64.
Nevertheless, Kim’s advantage on 15 under is by no means unassailable, as Park Sung-hyun is just a shot behind having carded a 66 on day three.
Fellow South Koreans Ko Jin-young and seven-time major winner Inbee Park are a further three strokes adrift in a tie for third, with the latter suggesting the local terrain in plays into the hands of her compatriots.
“I really think this course suits Korean players, because all the golf courses in Korea are built in the mountains,” she said.
The top 2 players in a pictures
Hyo Joo Kim takes the lead of the #evianchamp with her aggregate score of 198 (-15)
Followed by Sung Hyun Park one shot behind
Full leaderboard https://t.co/h1CL7XhhmM pic.twitter.com/npLyhbmZIp
— Evian Championship (@EvianChamp) July 27, 2019
“We are really used to the undulations and the lies we get.”
Park Sung-hyun moved into first at the turn after holing out from the bunker for eagle, but Kim finished stronger, getting birdies on 13, 14, 16 and 17, helping her make up for two bogeys in her first four holes.
Lee Mi-hyang went into the day with the lead but carded her worst round of the major, finishing level par at 71 to sit five off the top and tied for fifth with China’s Shanshan Feng.
The action began early on Saturday due to weather warnings and that move ensured everyone got around just in time, with a storm unloading shortly after play finished.
However, Sunday looks set for interruptions, with rain forecast for much of the day.