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Defending champion Nelly Korda takes three-stroke lead at LPGA Swinging Skirts

AP

Defending champion Nelly Korda shot a 7-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead after Saturday’s third round of the LPGA Swinging Skirts.

Korda, who started the round one stroke back of overnight leader Hur Mi-jung, carded seven birdies at the par-72 Miramar Golf Country Club to finish at 18-under 198, three strokes ahead of Minjee Lee, who shot a 67.

“I think I’ve gone over 36 holes without a bogey, which is something that I always strive to do,” Korda said. “I don’t remember the last time I did that. I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that. But I’m just playing really solid golf, and there’s still so much golf to be played.”

Lee briefly moved into a tie with Korda after back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th. But Korda quickly regained the lead with a birdie of her own on the par-5 12th.

Caroline Masson shot 66 and was in third place, four strokes behind.

Top-ranked Ko Jin-young withdrew during the third round. She was 2 over after 10 holes and 5 over on the tournament. No immediate reason was given for her withdrawal.

Hur, who is looking for her third victory this season, shot a 71 and was in fourth place at 13 under.

Brooke Henderson, who shot a 64 on Friday, had five birdies against a pair of bogeys and a double bogey for a 71 that left her at 10 under.

Azahara Munoz was tied with Henderson in ninth place after a 64 that included seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

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