Korean star Park leads at Australian Open

South Korean golfer Inbee Park holds a three-shot lead after the third round of the Women's Australian Open at Royal Adelaide.

MINJEE LEE of Australia plays her tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
MINJEE LEE of Australia plays her tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. Picture: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

South Korean golfing icon Inbee Park will have to hold off her country's new guard to capture the Women's Australian Open.

Former world No.1 Park, a seven-time major winner, holds a three-shot lead after a superb third round at Royal Adelaide on Saturday.

As hopes of an Australian winner faded, Park, eyeing her 20th LPGA title, carded three-under to gain precious breathing space from a chasing pack.

But that pack is headed by Park's 19-year-old compatriot Ayean Cho at 12-under.

Cho is yet to play fulltime on the LPGA Tour but has won twice on the Korean tour, where she was rookie of the year last year.

The teen fired a four-under 69 on Saturday to take outright second, while American Marina Alex is at 11-under and French duo Perrine Delacour and Celine Boutier lurking at 10-under

Delacour produced the round of the day, firing a six-under par 67 highlighted by six birdies on her initial 10 holes.

Chasing her maiden LPGA title, Delacour deliberately avoided looking at the leaderboard throughout her hot streak.

"I was just trying to hit a good shot and be in the present, which is hard because I was playing pretty good golf," she said.

"I wanted to keep making some birdies but don't really look at the leaderboard.

"But I'm pretty happy with what I did."

Perth's Hannah Green is the best-placed Australian local at seven-under.

Green endured a topsy-turvy Saturday, her one-under 72 containing four birdies and three bogeys.

World No.8 Minjee Lee, the top-ranked Australian a field boasting 15 major winners, and 21-year-old compatriot Robyn Choi are three-under.

The only other Australians to make the cut, Katherine Kirk (two-over) and Karis Davidson (six-over) are out of contention.


AAP