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Park 2 strokes ahead going into final day
November 10, 2012

Inbee Park -15, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Cristie Kerr -13, Rolex Rankings No. 15
So Yeon Ryu -12, Rolex Rankings No. 9

Rolex Rankings No. 4 Inbee Park followed-up rounds of 67-68 with a third-round 6-under 66 to take the lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

For the third consecutive day, Park got off to a blazing start in her round with back-to-back birdies on the first two holes. She then went on to notch four additional birdies including the par-5 18th which was moved up 40 yards from Friday’s second round.

In search of her third LPGA Tour victory this season, Park enters tomorrow’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Cristie Kerr.

Inbee Park might have a long way to go if she wants to win this year’s Rolex Player of the Year as she currently stands 58 points behind Stacy Lewis but Park currently holds the lead in two other prestigious categories.

With only five tournament rounds left on this year’s LPGA Tour, Park currently leads the LPGA Official Money List and the Vare Trophy race, awarded to the player with the lowest scoring average.

“That would be two big achievements this season,” said Park. “If I win three I don’t have anything else to do next season so it’s kind of good to have one maybe or two and take it one step at a time. I’m not going to play golf this year then quit; I have a lot of years in front of year. I’m just going to take every year as an experience and try my best every shot.

Park got off to a rocky start this year with a missed cut at the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Open but rebounded nicely since with two wins and nine additional top-10 finishes.

“Earlier this season everything didn’t really work well, especially my putting wasn’t working well earlier this season” said Park. “I was just trying to find the right stroke and right putter for myself. I kept trying different putters and kept trying different strokes and just finally found my stroke. I felt really comfortable after that.”

So Yeon Ryu has already locked-up this year’s prestigious Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award and achieved her goal to join an elite list of previous winners that include Hee Kyung Seo, Azahara Munoz, and Jiyai Shin.

“When I started the season my goal was Rookie of the Year and I have had success so I’m really, really happy,” said Ryu. “When I found out Rookie of the Year was already decided I was really relieved and I had so much fun. That is why I can enjoy this tournament more, that has really helped. Hopefully I can finish strongly tomorrow.”

The tradition will continue this year of the winner giving an acceptance speech at the Rolex Awards Reception at next week’s season-ending event. At last year’s ceremony Hee Kyung Seo delivered a memorable speech where she gave Yani Tseng a friendly warning that she was closer than she appears.

As this year’s season-ending event is on the horizon at next week’s CME Titleholders, Ryu has already given some thought as to what she will include in her speech.

“First of all I’m really worried that I’m not a native speaker,” said Ryu. “I think I have to really prepare it. Yesterday I was thinking about how many people I have to thank, it’s like 1,000 people. It’s really hard to prepare the speech but I’m really happy to prepare the speech. I think I should watch some of the Rookie of the Year players’ speeches like Hee Kyung Seo and Azaraha Munoz but it’s really hard to find it on YouTube.”

The final group during Saturday’s third round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco consisted of Angela Stanford, Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park, the group was rolling along nicely until to many people’s dismay, Kerr was nowhere to be found on the fifth tee.

It wasn’t until Kerr’s post round press conference that she admitted she got locked in the bathroom with no way to get out.

“I got locked in the bathroom,” said Kerr with a laugh when asked about the delay. “I didn’t even lock the door but the door just jammed itself shut and I’m like kicking and kicking trying to open the door and it got locked. I got locked in the bathroom and the door wasn’t even locked, the door got jammed. They had to open it from the other side. I was making a lot of noise thinking they were teeing off.”

Second-Round leader Angela Stanford shot a third-round even-par and stands four-strokes behind leader, Inbee Park…Tournament hostess Lorena Ochoa fired a 2-under 70 during Saturday’s third round remain at T19.

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