Karrie Webb surges at women’s golf major

Karrie Webb has fired a five-under-par 67 to be seven shots off the pace heading into the final round of the first women’s golf major of the year, the ANA Inspiration tournament in California.

After opening with a bogey, Webb a seven-time major champion, with wins in this event in 2000 and 2006, went on a birdie blitz through the middle of her round.

The Australian veteran made back-to-back-to-back birdies at holes eight through 10, making par at 11 before birdies at 12, 14 and 15 to be tied 14th.

Webb has her work cut out to catch tournament leader, 22-year-old South Korean rookie Sei Young Kim, but she has some good memories to call on.

In 2006 Webb started the final round six shots behind Mexican star Lorena Ochoa and shot a seven-under 65 to finish in a tie before winning in a playoff.

Kim, who already won the Bahamas LPGA Classic during her debut season, is 10-under and will take a three-shot lead into the final round after shooting a three-under 69 third round.

Kim made two late birdies to surge clear.

She holed a downhill 18-footer from the fringe on the par-4 16th and made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th.

While Kim was strong down the stretch those around her faltered, with American’s Morgan Pressel (bogeys at 16 and 17) and Stacy Lewis (bogeys at 15 and 17) dropping shots rapidly.

Kim’s immediate challenger and playing partner in the final round will be Lewis, who is outright second at seven-under after a 68.

Pressel (710, fellow American Brittany Lincicombe and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn (70 are tied third, one stroke behind Lewis.

World No.1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand slipped further down the leaderboard after hitting a second consecutive round over par and is tied 48th at two over.

Ko hit a two-over 74 in the third round, which followed a one-over score in the second round which ended her run of successive sub-par rounds at 29.

She reached that mark with her one-under 71 on the opening day to equal the record set 11 years ago by Swedish great Annika Sorenstam.

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