Kim Sei-young used a late birdie run to shoot a sizzling 64 and open up a five-stroke lead over Ally McDonald at the LPGA Tour's Pelican Women's Championship on Saturday.
Ko carded a near ideal third round 66 to sit at seven under and fourth overall, with a double bogey on the 13th hole the only blemish on her scorecard. Popov, 28, won her first and only LPGA event so far, in August when she was the surprise victor at the Women's British Open.
Ally McDonald, playing alongside Popov and Ko in an afternoon threesome, was at 67 with Womens PGA champion Sei Young Kim, the No. 2 player in the world. "I got a little bit pressure, but I just tried to focus on my game", said Kim, who responded with her birdie binge.More news: USA clears Boeing 737 Max to fly again
Kim, brimming with confidence after her maiden major triumph at the Women's PGA Championship last month, was in the groove from the first tee, bagging back-to-back birdies on the opening two holes. "Feel like I don't have to hit had it really, really close". "But we had a lot of the same numbers today, so I was able to capitalize and I made some really long putts, too, which obviously always helps". It could be that she chased me down, that was my thought.
Kim, who started the day with a five-shot advantage on the field, bounced through an even-par round of 70 that featured three birdies and three bogeys. Meadow birdied four of her last five holes, finishing on the front nine, for a 65. Two early birdies took her to eight under before she dropped a shot with a bogey on the 16th.
She finished with six birdies and a 29 on the front nine at the Pelican Golf Club in Tampa, Florida. She made substantially more money ($675,000) for that single victory than she had in her entire LPGA career.More news: Timberwolves Select Edwards, Bring Rubio Back
Popov got of to rousing start with a birdie on the par-four second hole.
She skipped her title defence at the pandemic-delayed ANA Inspiration in September, and is returning to the LPGA tour for the first time in nearly a year.More news: Streb leads at Sea Island as Zach Johnson closes the gap