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Park ahead by 3 at Kraft Nabisco

Rancho Mirage, CA (Sports Network) - Inbee Park fired her second straight 5- under 67 on Saturday and extended her lead to three strokes after 54 holes of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Park finished three rounds at 12-under-par 204. She missed the 54-hole scoring record by one stroke at Mission Hills Country Club.

The 24-year-old will go for her fifth LPGA Tour title and second major championship on Sunday.

Lizette Salas carded a 3-under 69 and remained alone in second place at minus-9. She has three top-10 finishes in her last four starts, but is still winless on the LPGA Tour.

Angela Stanford fired the low round of the day as she posted a 6-under 66 to move into a share of third place at minus-6. She was joined there by two-time Karrie Webb (67), three-time runner-up Suzann Pettersen (67), Karine Icher (68), Pornanong Phatlum (70) and Jessica Korda (68).

Park and Salas both birdied the first, then Salas also birdied the second to grab a share of the lead. Park moved back in front with a long birdie putt at the par-3 fifth.

Salas stumbled to a bogey on the eighth to drop two behind. She quickly erased that mistake with a birdie on the ninth.

Park, the 2008 U.S. Women's Open champion, poured in another long birdie putt at the 10th. She stuffed her approach within three feet at the 12th and rolled that putt in to push her lead to three.

Salas got one back with a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 13.

Park, who earned her fourth tour win in Thailand earlier this year, parred four in a row from the 13th. She converted a 4-foot birdie putt at the 17th to move to 12-under. Park parred the last to end three clear.

"I think I played really good the last few years, but I just didn't putt that well. This week, I'm reading the breaks really good and the putts are rolling in," stated Park, whose best finish in this event was in 2008 when she took ninth place. "We had a similar wind as yesterday so it was easier to judge."

Salas finished with five consecutive pars to finish alone in second place.

"Of course I had some nerves, but I started out birdie-birdie. I came out strong, then kind of cruised along. I was not hitting the ball as well as the first two days, but I kept giving myself opportunities for birdie," said Salas, who tied for 46th here last year. "I played the back nine bogey-less, with only one birdie. You can't ask for any more than to me in the last group at a major, and this is only my second year out here."

NOTES: Park has had at least a piece of the 54-hole four times before, but has held on to win just one time ... Thirty-three of the 73 players that made the cut broke par in the third round.

04/06 21:18:05 ET


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