Choi in charge at US Women’s Open

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South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi fired a remarkable seven-under par 65 on Saturday to seize a six-shot lead after three rounds of the US Women’s Open. Choi had a 54-hole total of eight-under 208, with her nearest rival, compatriot Amy Yang, a distant second on two-under 214 after a three-under 69. The two were the only players to break 70 in difficult windy conditions at Blackwolf Run. Choi matched the lowest third-round score in tournament history and her 65 also tied the third-lowest round ever posted at a US Women’s Open. “I couldn’t believe how I got eight birdies today,” said Choi, ranked fifth in the world. “But I did. And I’m very happy, and I’m very satisfied and I’m very excited.” The lowest round in US Women’s Open history was Helen Alfredsson’s 63 in 1994. Three other players have shot a 64 in the Open.
Choi’s impressive effort came on the same course where Se Ri Pak won the US Women’s Open 14 years ago, inspiring a generation of South Korean girls to pursue golf careers. Choi said she remembered watching that 1998 US Women’s Open on television, and Pak’s victory changed her ideas about what she herself might be able to achieve in the game. “I changed my goal: ‘I have to go to the LPGA Tour and I want to win on the LPGA Tour,'” Choi said. American Lexi Thompson, Japan’s Mika Miyazato and Germany’s Sandra Gal were tied for third on one-under 215. Thompson, 17, carded a 72, Miyazato a 73, and Gal signed for a 74.