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    Grace Kim shoots 66 to take 5-shot lead in Meijer LPGA Classic


    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grace Kim broke away late Saturday afternoon at Blythefield Country Club, birdieing four of the final six holes to take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic.

    Tied for the second-round lead with Ally Ewing, Kim shot a 6-under 66 to get to 17-under 199. The 23-year-old Australian won in a playoff last year in Hawaii for her lone LPGA Tour title. She lost a large lead in April in Los Angeles in the JM Eagle LA Championship.

    “Gving myself another chance to I guess do it again and actually get it done,” Kim said. “I know I’m going to try my best for tomorrow and everyone else will. This golf course calls for lot of birdies and there are a lot of good players out here. ”

    Ewing followed her second-round 63 with a 71 to drop into a tie for second with Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, Allisen Corpuz and Narin An.

    “It was a little bit of a scramble today,” Ewing said. “I made some really good putts to just kind of hang in early.”

    Thompson, the 2015 winner who has said this will be her last year playing a full schedule, played the final six holes on the front nine in 7 under in a 65. She has gone more than five years without winning.

    “Just kind of got into a groove,” Thompson said. “This is a golf course you know you have to come out and play aggressive and make lots of birdies. Just came out feeling very comfortable, made a few good swings, and rolled in some putts.”

    Nordqvist also shot 65. Corpuz had a 68, and An shot 69.

    Kim had three straight birdies on the front nine on Nos. 5-7, dropped a stroke on the par-5 10th, then made the late charge with birdies on on the par-3 13th, par-5 14th, par-4 16th and par-5 18th.

    “Obviously, I finished pretty strong, so hopefully I can just keep that going,” Kim said. “Have a good night meal. Watched a movie yesterday. That’s probably helped a little bit as well. Maybe do that again tonight and see. Fresh for tomorrow.”

    Lilia Vu, a former No. 1 player and double major winner last year, was tied for 14th at 9 under in her return from a back injury that sidelined her since the Ford Championship in late March. She shot 68.

    Brooke Henderson, the Canadian who won the event in 2017 and 2019, shot a 73 to drop into a tie for 24th at 7 under. Defending champion Leona Maguire was tied for 57th at 3 under after a 72.

    Top-ranked Nelly Korda left Friday after missing her second straight cut following a stretch of six victories in seven events. She won at Blythefield in 2021 at a tournament-record 25 under.

    The major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is next week at Sahalee outside Seattle.


    AP golf:

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