South Korea's Kim seizes three-shot lead at Mediheal Championship

San Francisco (AFP) –


South Korea's Kim Sei-young pulled away from the field with a four-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the US LPGA Tour's Mediheal Championship on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Kim was at a 10-under 206 to lead Englishwoman Charley Hull heading into Sunday's final round at the Lake Merced course in Daly City, California.

Kim made bogey on her opening hole but bounced back with an eagle at the fifth and birdies at 11, 15 and 18. She is ranked 15th in the world and looking for her eighth LPGA Tour title.

The five-year tour veteran put some distance between herself and the rest of the pack. There were 20 players within five shots of leader Ryu So-yeon heading into Saturday's round and by the end of the day there were just two within five strokes of Kim -- Hull and Maria Torres.

Two-time major winner Ryu shot a disappointing seven-over 79 and was tied for 20th while playing parter Ryan O'Toole, who was one stroke off the lead on Friday, ballooned to a 77 to drop into a tie for 14th.

South Korea's Ryu finished with four bogeys and a triple bogey.

Kim most recently won in July at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, where she set the LPGA's 72-hole scoring record at 31-under 257 and won by nine strokes.

Hull carded three birdies and one bogey in her round of 70 and sits at seven under.

The 23-year-old is currently ranked No. 26 and has one victory under her belt -- the 2016 CME Group Tour Championship -- but hasn't posted a top-10 finish since October.

Puerto Rico's Torres moved into third place at five-under with her second straight round of 71.

Five players were tied in fourth place at four under: Australia's Minjee Lee (67), Lexi Thompson (69), South Korea's Amy Yang (70) and Sweden's Louise Ridderstrom (72).