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Golf | Women`s Golf

Kim Sei-young © Getty Images

Kim in control with record-tying 24-under total



South Korea's Kim Sei-young matched the LPGA's 54-hole scoring record on Saturday building a 24-under total that gave her an eight-shot lead at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Kim fired an eagle and six birdies in her eight-under par round on the par-72 Thornberry course in Oneida, Wisconsin.

She started the day with a four-shot lead and after kick-starting her round with an eagle at the par-five third she moved to 24-under for the tournament with a string of four straight birdies from the 13th through the 16th.

"I feel like this is the best I've ever played," said Kim, who matched the LPGA's 54-hole scoring record of 24-under set by Annika Sorenstam at the 2003 Mizuno Classic – now known as the Toto Japan Classic.

Kim's long birdie attempt at 17 to break the record didn't drop.

At 18 she was in the left rough off the tee. Her second shot put her on the green but her birdie try was never close and she had to make a tough putt coming back to save par.

It's the second time the 25-year-old Kim has matched a Sorenstam scoring record. Her 27-under total in winning the 2016 Founders Cup in Phoenix matched the LPGA 72-hole record first established by the Swedish great in 2001.

"I hope to break it tomorrow," Kim said, adding that it was "an honour" to have her name alongside Sorenstam's.

"I used to watch Annika on television and it was my dream to play on the LPGA with her," she said.

Kim said she didn't expect to be nervous as she chased the record – and a seventh LPGA title – on Sunday.

"I just want to keep challenging myself and what I can do," she said. "Even if I break (the record), I'll keep (making) the challenges higher. That's my goal."

Kim, disappointed in her 25th-place finish at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship last week said she'd studied video to try to discover what went wrong and to "make my mind stronger".

The lesson she drew was simple.

"Just trust yourself," she said. "If I imagine, it can come true. It's come true."

South Korean Amy Yang was Kim's closest pursuer after a 67 for 200. The steady Yang had five birdies without a bogey and was one stroke in front of former world No 1 Lydia Ko, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and American Emma Talley.

New Zealand's Ko, who snapped a near two-year title drought with a victory in San Francisco in April, holed out from the 86 yards out in the fairway for an eagle at the par-five 15th on the way to her second straight six-under 66.

Nordqvist joined her on 201 with a 67 and Talley posted a 68, Ko admitting it felt odd to find herself so far adrift after two solid rounds

"Sei-young is tearing up the whole golf course," Ko said. "There are so many low numbers out there with the whole field."

THORNBERRY CREEK LPGA CLASSIC SCORES

192 - Kim Sei-young (KOR) 63-65-64

200 - Amy Yang (KOR) 67-66-67

201 - Lydia Ko (NZL) 69-66-66, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 67-67-67, Emma Talley 65-68-68

202 - Brittany Marchand (CAN) 64-72-66, Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 66-69-67, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 65-70-67, Katherine Kirk (AUS) 62-71-69, Liu Yu (CHN) 69-63-70

203 - Nanna Koertstz Madsen (DEN) 72-68-63, Celine Boutier (FRA) 69-71-63, Ryann O'Toole 70-66-67, Hur Mi-jung (KOR) 69-66-68, Bronte Law (ENG) 67-68-68, Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 66-69-68, Sandra Gal (GER) 65-70-68, Chella Choi (KOR) 68-66-69, Chun In-gee (KOR) 67-66-70

204 - Tiffany Joh 69-69-66, Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 69-68-67, Thidapa Suwannapura (THA) 69-67-68, Ko Jin-young (KOR) 68-67-69, Mo Martin 67-68-69, Mariah Stackhouse 66-67-71



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