Sei Young Kim opened up a five-shot lead as Ally McDonald lit up the third day of the Pelican Women’s Championship with a hole-in-one.
Kim put herself in position to claim her second victory in six weeks having won her maiden major title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last month, producing an outstanding finish to extend her lead from one shot to five in the space of three holes.
McDonald had put the pressure on the world No 2 when she bounced back from a double-bogey at the eighth with a perfect tee shot to the short 12th, where her punched pitching-wedge pitched 15 feet short of the pin, took the left-to-right break and rolled gently into the cup for an ace.
That got the Solheim Cup star to within one of the leader, and the top two traded birdies at the long 14th before Kim took control of the tournament as McDonald faltered.
Kim’s birdie at 14 was followed by three more in a row, while McDonald bogeyed the 16th and suddenly found herself five strokes off the pace when the South Korean made her seventh birdie of the day on the penultimate green.
A par at the last completed a six-under 64 for Kim and a 54-hole score of 14 under, with McDonald carding a 68 which was good enough for outright second ahead of Stephanie Meadow.
The Northern Ireland star was only two shots behind overnight but slipped to two over for the round with her fourth bogey at the 10th, although she did get back into red numbers with a birdie at 11 followed by three in four holes from the 14th.
Meadow’s spirited back-nine performance lifted her to eight under and kept her one ahead of Lydia Ko (66), while England’s Mel Reid surged into the top 10 as she fired a bogey-free 65 to get to two under par.
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