Chella Choi grabs 1-shot lead in Mobile
Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - Chella Choi carded a 6-under 66 on Saturday to grab a 1-shot lead after three rounds of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Choi, who will go for her first LPGA Tour title on Sunday, ended 54 holes at 17-under-par 199. She broke Stacy Lewis' 54-hole scoring record by three strokes. Lewis set the old mark of 202 last year en route to victory.
Anna Nordqvist also set a record on Saturday as she fired an 11-under 61 for a new course record. That record was a day old as Sydnee Michaels carded a 62 on Friday.
Nordqvist ended three rounds at 16-under-par 200 and she was joined there by second-round leader Jessica Korda, who carded a 3-under 69 in round three.
Karrie Webb, who was paired with Korda on Saturday and will be again on Sunday, also shot 69 to end 54 holes at minus-15.
Jennifer Johnson is alone in fifth at 14-under 202 after a third-round 65 on the Crossings Course, which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove.
Lewis (63) and Michaels (69) share sixth place at minus-13.
Korda was the overnight leader, but when she stumbled to a bogey on the second, that created 5-way tie for the lead at 12-under. She bounced back with a birdie at the third, but fell one back when Webb birdied three and four.
Nordqvist, who ran off five straight birdies from the third, and had back-to- back birdies at 10 and 11, joined Webb at 14-under with an eagle on the par-5 13th.
The Swede dipped one back with a bogey at 14, and Choi made a charge to grab her first share of the lead. Choi drained three birdies in a row from the fourth to get to minus-14, where she was tied with Webb.
Korda carded three birdies in a 4-hole span from the sixth to jump to 16- under, where she was tied with Nordqvist atop the leaderboard. Nordqvist posted three birdies in a row from the 15th before making par at the last.
"It's one of those days, where you feel like all your hard work and your patience is paying off," said Nordqvist. "You look back and you see yourself with a lot of confidence and know you can do it and believe in yourself."
Choi parred seven and eight, then faltered to a bogey on the ninth to make the turn at minus-13, where she was three back.
Around the turn, Korda tumbled three strokes behind Nordqvist. Korda bogeyed the 11th and double-bogeyed the 12th to dip to 13-under. She had taken the last two weeks off with a wrist injury, and confirmed to Golf Channel that she re-injured herself on No. 11.
While Korda was sliding backwards, Choi flew up the leaderboard. The 22-year- old Korean converted a birdie chance at the 11th, and followed with birdies at 12 and 13 to join Nordqvist at minus-16.
Choi, who was one group ahead of Korda, birdied the par-5 16th to take the lead for good. Choi then parred the last two to finish at minus-17.
"I think today was really good, I'm really happy," Choi said. "But tomorrow is another day."
Korda poured in a 33-foot eagle putt at 16 to get within one of the lead. She finished right there with a pair of pars on the last two holes.
"I didn't hit a bad shot. I hit a great shot down 12 and I ended up in a divot. I actually tried to hit it properly and I hit it really deep. The ground just came up faster than I thought it would and I kind of hurt my wrist a little bit," Korda explained. "And that got plugged on the side of the bunker, so the only way I could go was sideways, so you take what you can get.
"Then the hole after, my wrist hurt a little bit, so I just went bad shot after bad shot. I was just happy to get out of that hole."
NOTES: Choi leads after 54 holes for the first time in her LPGA Tour career ... Korda's bogey on the second snapped a streak of 50 consecutive bogey-free holes ... Webb made the cut for the 53rd straight LPGA Tour event.
05/18 21:14:56 ET