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Ciganda takes lead, but No. 1 Park lurks

The SportsXchange

IRVING, Texas -- Carlota Ciganda of Spain fired a 5-under 66 in the third round on Saturday to claim a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the LPGA Tour's North Texas Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club.

However, Inbee Park of South Korea, No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, is lurking in a tie for second after shooting 67 in round three.

Ciganda, who began Saturday trailing Caroline Masson of Germany by one stroke, posted birdies on the sixth and seventh holes while playing the front nine in 3-under 33. She hit her tee shot to within three feet on No. 6 for a tap-in birdie.

Her rally continued at the start of the back nine with birdies on the 10th and 12th holes before carding her only bogey of the day at No. 14.

Ciganda nearly added another bogey on the 16th, sending her tee shot into the left-side rough and the 23-year-old's second shot bounced off the green into the fringe leaving a tough chip.

However, she would make the shot look easy, placing it within a few feet of the hole to save par.

Ciganda added another birdie on No. 17 to gain momentum for Sunday, hitting her tee ball to within four feet and sneaking the putt into the right side of the hole.

Park moved into a tie for second with Masson with a late rally. Park opened the day with a bogey on the first and birdie on the third to finish even on the first nine.

However, Park closed strong with five birdies on the back nine to finish her second 67 of the tournament, sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

Masson, who shot 64 in round one, started Saturday the way her second round ended. After posting bogeys in three of the final four holes on Friday, Masson fell off the lead with a double-bogey on No. 1.

However, she would rally with five birdies while shooting 69 to remain in contract with Ciganda heading to the final round.

Na Yeon Choi of South Korea made the biggest move on the leaderboard round two with a 66, climbing seven spots to solo fourth.

Choi birdied three of the first four holes and posted another two on the back nine, before barely missing another birdie at No. 18.

So Yeon Ryu of South Korea shot 68 and joined Christina Kim (67), Karine Icher (67) of France and Jee Young Lee (67) of South Korea in a tie for fifth.

Ryu, who was bogey free over the last two rounds, posted an eagle on No. 3 and had a chance for another on No. 10, but her putt stopped inches short for a birdie. Ryu is bogey-free through the last two rounds.

NOTES: Michelle Wie fell below the second cut line by shooting 4-over 75 in her third round, missing by three strokes as the secondary cut fell at 1-over-par. ... Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands, finished with the best score of round three, a 65, and climbed 51 spots to a tie for 14th.
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