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Recari leads LPGA Kia Classic by two shots

The SportsXchange

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Spain's Beatriz Recari remained atop of the leaderboard at the LPGA Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club on Saturday.

Recari, who had a one-shot lead heading into the round, shot a bogey-free three-under par 69 to take a two-stroke lead over Australian Karrie Webb heading into Sunday's finale.

An eagle at the 16th hole boosted Recari, who is seeking her first tournament title since winning the CVS Pharmacy Challenge in 2010 as a rookie. She hit a drive on the 285-yard hole that landed about four feet short of the cup before hitting a putt to briefly tie Webb, who led at the time.

"Well, we were waiting on the tee and I hit that tee shot in the practice round, actually in the pro-am, and you just had to kind of play it safe," Recari said. "And if you get a good bounce, you knew that it was going to bounce left.

"If you got a good bounce on the green, great, even though just to make sure that I'm on the right side and I have enough green to work with. But I hit a very good tee shot and I had a good bounce as well so I had like a (four-footer) for eagle and I made it."

Recari has completed three rounds at the tournament without a bogey.

"I had like two good saves today, but other than that I played really well, hitting the ball solid and just making sure that I position the ball in the right place," Recari said.

Webb led for much of the round before running into trouble on the back nine with bogeys on 13 and 17. She finished with a 70. Webb is seeking her first tournament win since capturing the RR Donnelly Founders Cup in 2011.

Paula Creamer and I.K. Kim of South Korea were tied for third, three shots back. Stacy Lewis, who had an eagle on No. 8, shot a 69 to finish tied at fifth four strokes off the lead with Lizette Salas and Cristie Kerr. Lewis, who is playing in her first tournament since becoming the No. 1 player, is shooting for a third consecutive title.

First-round leader Jane Park and Inbee Park both shot 72 and were tied for eighth, five strokes back.

Spain's Azahara Munoz had a strong start with four birdies on the front nine for a 32. However, Munoz bogeyed 12th and 18th holes to fall into a tie for 10th with Suzann Pettersen, Mo Martin and Na Yeon Choi. The four are six shots behind the leader.
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