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Kim storms into six-shot lead at British Open

© AFP / by Elspeth Burnside | Korea's In-Kyung Kim watches her drive from the 18th tee on August 5, 2017

ST ANDREWS (UNITED KINGDOM) (AFP) - 

South Korea's Kim In-Kyung had a dream day on the greens and soared into a six-shot lead with a round to play in the Women's British Open at Kingsbarns on Saturday.

The 29-year-old famously missed a one-foot putt on the final green to lose the chance of a first major win at the 2012 ANA Inspiration, but she holed from all over the place in a faultless third round of 66.

Kim's 17-under-par total of 199 was a championship 54-hole record - one better than Ariya Jutanugarn at Woburn 12 months ago.

Jutanugarn, who went on to win last year, missed the halfway cut, but her older sister Moriya maintained family pride with a superb 67 for joint second place on 11 under par.

England's Georgia Hall, playing with Kim, also finished on 11 under after a 70.

She had narrowed the gap on her playing partner with three birdies in a row from the 13th - but a bogey at the 16th and a four putt double-bogey six at the 17th means she has a massive gap to make up over the final 18 holes.

"I felt really good about myself today and really adjusted to the pace of the greens," said Kim, who reckons she has finally put the 2012 miss behind her.

"It has been tough," she admitted. "I was so disappointed after 2012, but I have finally managed to let go. It had taken away some of the joy of golf. But I decided I had to be nice to myself."

In the mixture of rain and sun, she birdied the second and then four in a row from the fifth. More birdies came at the 11th and 12th.

Park Inbee, the 2015 champion at Turnberry, made a surge through the field by equalling the course record 64. On ten under, she is still a threat.

The 29-year-old seven-time major winner made the cut with just a shot to spare, but a flawless eight-birdie round raised hopes of a second win in Scotland.

Park played alongside another former champion, Stacy Lewis, and the American, who won over the Old Course at St Andrews four years ago, also showed her hunger for a second victory at the 'home of golf' with a 65 for nine-under.

Park ruled women's golf and was the world number one for over a year in 2013/14, but she came into the week unhappy with a normally plus point of her game, her ball striking. "But today was much better," she said.

"Over the first two days I struggled with the putter. But I holed some and to have eight birdies and no dropped shots makes me very happy.

"I always enjoy playing in twosomes. Play is much quicker and Stacy and I both played some great golf. We fed off each other."

World number one Ryu So-Yeon, who made the cut on the final mark, had her best round of the week with a 68 to reach five under par.

by Elspeth Burnside

© 2017 AFP