Published July 28, 2012
| Sports Network
Evian-les-Bains, France (Sports Network) - Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis both birdied the 18th hole Saturday to share the third-round lead of the Evian Masters.
Park, the 2008 U.S. Women's Open champion, posted a 2-under 70 on Saturday, while Lewis, who held the outright lead after both of the first two rounds, was done in by a double bogey at 15 that led to a 1-over 73. The pair is knotted at 11-under 205.
Natalie Gulbis, whose only tour win came here in 2007, shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for third place with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb (67) and amateur Hyo Joo Kim (69). That trio is only one shot back at minus-10.
Cristie Kerr fired a 5-under 67 and vaulted up 12 spots to sixth at 9-under par.
Lewis played safe golf over the front nine with eight consecutive pars to start and a birdie at the par-5 ninth. That birdie gave her a 2-shot lead over Park, who birdied the sixth and seventh holes.
Park birdied No. 10 to get within one, but Lewis birdied 11 and appeared comfortably in front.
That didn't last long.
Lewis bogeyed the 12th and 14th holes, then doubled the par-5 15th. Park also sank down the leaderboard thanks to bogeys at Nos. 11 and 14. Once all the mistakes were added up, Lewis and Park were tied for the lead with Webb, Gulbis and Kim.
Lewis and Park were able to a put a stroke between themselves and the trio at 10-under.
Both made birdies at the last, with Lewis' coming from 20 feet. Despite the closing birdie, Lewis wasn't pleased.
"I was pretty frustrated on the front nine and didn't make anything," said Lewis. "The wheels came off in the middle. I opened the door and I'm frustrated about that. I just have to work harder tomorrow."
For Park, she is in position to finally pick up another tour victory.
"I'm really wanting to win," admitted Park. "I'm really excited where I put myself, especially at this event, because I never play good at this event. So looking forward to tomorrow."
Sunday should be an interesting day with two former champions and a 17-year- old amateur trailing by just a shot.
Webb won this championship in 2006 and is coming off a 2011 season with two LPGA Tour victories.
Gulbis' only appearance in a winner's circle came here five years ago, but the most intriguing figure near the top of the leaderboard has to be the amateur Kim.
She got into the field thanks to her world ranking position, which she earned thanks to wins on both the LPGA of Japan and the Korean LPGA Tour. Kim speaks no English, but has stated her intention to turn professional at the LPGA KEB- HanaBank Championship in October.
LPGA champion Shanshan Feng (68), Carlota Ciganda (66), Suzann Pettersen (68), Lee-Anne Pace (68), Anna Nordqvist (69), Se Ri Pak (69), Paula Creamer (73) and Hee Young Park (71) are knotted in seventh at 8-under 208.
NOTES: Lewis won this year's Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and ShopRite LPGA Classic...Park has four top 10s this year, and all four were in her last four starts, including a playoff loss at the Manulife Financial Classic...Defending champion Ai Miyazato shot a 2-under 70 and is tied for 29th at 5-under par.