Waterloo, ON – Inbee Park fired a 5-under 66 on Saturday to stay ahead of the field after three rounds of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Park, whose only LPGA victory came at the 2008 U.S. Women's Open, finished 54 holes at 14-under 199. She increased her lead to two strokes over Brittany Lang and Hee Kyung Seo, who remained in second place but now sit at minus-12 after carding 4-under 67s.
"I haven't had a win for a while, so it [would] be nice to win tomorrow," Park said. "But I'll just go out there, just play like today with no expectations, just play like a normal day."
Anna Nordqvist (67) is alone in fourth place at 10-under 203.
LPGA Champion Shanshan Feng (70) and first-round leader Sandra Changkija (69) are among four players tied for fifth at minus-9. Karin Sjodin (69) and Nicole Hage (67) are also in that group.
The tournament, which is new on the LPGA calendar this year, got back on track Saturday after suffering through weather delays the first two rounds. Seven players needed to finish their second rounds Saturday morning, but the tournament went on as scheduled afterward.
Seo was playing a group in front of Park and used a strong start to challenge for the lead. She birdied three, five and six to move to minus-11. However, Park also birdied five and six to join Seo in the lead.
It was a relatively brief stay for Seo, who fell behind with a bogey at eight. While she didn't have another bogey, it was enough of an opening for Park, who stayed at 11-under around the turn and moved further under par on the back nine.
Park reached minus-13 with birdies at 11 and 12, necessary gains because Seo birdied 13 and 14 to get to minus-12.
But Seo parred out to stay at that score, while Park picked up another stroke with a birdie at 15. She bogeyed the 17th, but got back to minus-14 with a birdie at the last.
"I hit the ball very good today," Park said. "I hit a lot of good iron shots, and I think I played par-5s really good today; that helped me a lot. There was some more putts out there that I could have made, but I was really happy with the way I hit the ball today, and hopefully tomorrow it will be a better putting day."
Lang was playing in Park's group and joined Seo in second place thanks to a stellar end to her round. She parred her first 15 holes, but closed birdie- birdie-eagle to quickly pick up four strokes.
"I hit some good putts and some good shots and I just couldn't get anything going," said Lang. "But I stayed patient and positive and finally made the birdie on 16 and got some energy and hit a great shot into 17. That was a great -- and even that, it's tricky to read the greens out here. You can hit good putts and not make them, but I stayed positive and just hit two awesome shots on 18. I'm very happy with that finish."
Feng had been tied for second place after Friday, but a poor front nine -- which included no birdies and two bogeys -- sent her tumbling down the leaderboard. She birdied three consecutive holes on the back nine, but will have some ground to make up if she is to challenge for another win.
A stroke behind Feng's group are five players sharing ninth place at minus-8. World No. 2 Stacy Lewis (69) and American teenager Lexi Thompson (70) are in that group along with Mi Jung Hur (68), Chella Choi (70) and 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu (70).
NOTES: Since winning the U.S. Women's Open four years ago, Park's best finish was for second place at the 2010 Kia Classic, which Seo won...Lang is in search of her first LPGA Tour victory...Michelle Wie, playing the weekend for the first time since February's HSBC Women's Champions, shot a 2-over 73 and is tie for 52nd at even-par 213.