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Choi Goes into Final Round of Mobile Bay LPGA Classic a Stroke Ahead


Chella Choi of South Korea fired a 6-under 66 to take the 54-hole lead in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. The 72-hole, $1.2 million tournament is taking place on The Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove - a stop on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - in Mobile.

The 22-year-old Choi, whose best finish is a tie for second in last year's Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, posted seven birdies - include three straight on each the front and back nines - and a bogey to reach 17-under 199, a stroke ahead of Anna Nordqvist and second-round leader Jessica Korda (69).

After opening with a 73 and 66, Nordqvist, a 25-year-old Swede with two career victories, posted an 11-under 61 that included 11 birdies, an eagle on the par-5 13th and a lone bogey en route to a new course record. The previous record of 62 was set by American Sydnee Michaels on Friday.

LPGA Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb of Australia, who began Saturday only a stroke back of Korda, shot a 69 and is in solo fourth at 201. Right behind at 202 is American Jennifer Johnson (65), while another stroke back in a tie for sixth are defending champion Stacy Lewis (63) and fellow Yank Michaels (69).

Lewis told reporters that she was a bit more deliberate Saturday after starting with two straight 70s. "I think we were must more careful with our targets and where I missed shots," said Lewis.

"I paid more attention to where I could miss it and still get it up and down, and I think that was the difference. But I hit it a lot more solid today, so I really didn't have to worry about it too much . . . It was just an easy day. I hit it a lot better. It was one of those stress-free days. I needed today. I needed something like that to get back in the tournament."

Sharing eighth at 204 are Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea (67), Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Americans Nicole Castrale (68) and Lexi Thompson (69). Colombia's Mariajo Uribe (68) and Thai Pornanong Phatlum (71) are tied for 12th at 205.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.