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Salas up by 2 over 2 Koreans

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Ameri­can Lizette Salas had eight bird­ies in an eight-under par 64 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the US LPGA tournament in Indianapolis.

Salas, who began the round tied for the lead with Park Sung-hyun and Ko Jin-young, had a 54-hole total of 21-under 195.

She was two shots clear of Park and South Korean Amy Yang, with defending champion Lexi Thompson alone in fourth a further three strokes back.

Park, who has a chance to top­ple Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn from the number one world rank­ing with a victory this week, had racked up eight birdies and was 21-under and in the lead when she double-bogeyed the par-four 16th, hitting her approach shot into the water.

The two-time major winner, seeking her third win of the sea­son, parred the last two holes to complete a six-under par 66 that left her tied on 197 with Yang, who had seven birdies without a bogey in her 65.

Thompson climbed the lead­erboard with an eight-under 64, her eight birdies including four in a row from the fourth through the seventh holes.

Rookie of the year contender Ko, who returned the water­logged Brickyard Crossing Golf Course to complete her second round on Saturday morning, had five birdies and three bogeys in her third round 70 and shared fifth place on 201 with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka (68) and Mina Harigae (65).