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U.S. teen Jessica Korda takes 1-shot lead at Australian Open
Question of the Day
MELBOURNE, Australia — American teenager Jessica Korda moved into position for a two-sport, father-daughter Australian double, shooting par 73 in windy conditions Saturday to take a 1-shot lead at the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne.
Korda, the 18-year-old daughter of 1998 Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, had a 4-under 215 total in the LPGA Tour opener on the historic club’s difficult Composite Course. She opened with rounds of 72 and 70 at the 2011 Presidents Cup venue that’s hosting a women’s professional event for the first time.
“It would mean a lot,” Korda said about following her father with a Melbourne victory. “My Dad was world No. 2. I told him I want to beat that. It would be a great accomplishment, an awesome thing.”
So Yeon Ryu, the U.S. Women's Open champion who took a one-stroke lead into the third round, was a stroke back along with fellow South Korean player Hee Kyung Seo and Australia’s Nikki Campbell. Ryu shot a 76, Seo had a 75, and Campbell a 70.
“Normally my play style is very aggressive, but this course, it’s definitely not,” Ryu said. “Always my plan is just par.”
Top-ranked Yani Tseng, the winner the last two years at Commonwealth Golf Club, topped the group at 2 under after a 71. The Taiwanese star was still smarting from a three-hole stretch Friday in her second-round 76 when she dropped six strokes with a quadruple-bogey 8 and two bogeys.
“I think I’m in very good position, especially with a course like this,” Tseng said. “So, tomorrow I’ll play more aggressive and try to get as many birdies as I can.”
She knows that could get her in trouble.
“Today, I just tried to slow down a bit and be patient all the time because these greens, it’s hard to make birdie and easy to make bogey,” Tseng said. “So, you also just have to be patient.”
Canada’s Lorie Kane and American Katie Futcher also were 2 under. The 47-year-old Kane had a 72, and Futcher shot a 71.
“As things started going on and on, I started feeling shaky as the wind gusted toward the end of the day,” she said. “I finished pretty strong and kept at level par.”
Last year as a rookie, she made eight cuts in 15 LPGA Tour starts.
“It was a learning curve,” Korda said. “I was finishing up high school, so it was more of a juggling act than anything. I was not grown up enough. I had to realize a lot of things. It was tough. It was not an easy conversation to have with myself and with my team. I had to grow up a lot last year.”
Ryu birdied the second and third holes to reach 8 under, but played her final 14 holes in 5 over with six bogeys and a birdie. She bogeyed the par-4 18th to drop out of a tie for the lead.
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