ANA Inspiration: Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson tied for 54-hole lead
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By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 13/09/20 12:58am
Nelly Korda rallied on the back nine to regain a share of the lead with Brooke Henderson after the third round of the ANA Inspiration in California.
Korda's stay at the top of the leaderboard was ended abruptly when she dropped a shot at the fifth and then found water at the next, a mistake which led to a double-bogey six, while Henderson took control of the tournament with a superb front-nine 30.
Henderson eagled the second and added four birdies in an outward 30 which drove the Canadian into the outright lead, and she picked up further shots at the 11th and 16th either side of her only bogey of the day at 13 as she set the clubhouse target on 12 under par.
"Being a major championship, you've really got to stay patient and know bogeys are going to happen," said Henderson, a nine-time LPGA Tour winner.
"The rough out there is very thick and you're just praying it's sitting up if you hit it in there. You just have to go with what the course gives you and just expect bogeys and try to make a lot of birdies to counter them."
Korda showed great spirit to bounce back after the turn, the Solheim Cup star re-energising her challenge with back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 and another at the 15th, salvaging a one-under 71 which had looked unlikely at the halfway stage of her round.
"It was a disappointing front nine, but I was really proud of the way I fought on the back nine," said Korda. "Never gave up and there's still 18 more holes to be played, so much golf."
Former champion Lexi Thompson is just two shots off the lead after a 68 which featured five birdies in an outward 32, although the American was unable to add to that tally after she bogeyed the 10th.
Thompson, who took the celebratory champion's leap into Poppie's Pond in 2014, shares third with Australian Katherine Kirk, who carded a six-birdie 67, and Mirim Lee, who offset five birdies with four bogeys in a 71.
Spain's Carlota Ciganda charged to nine under with three straight birdies from the 15th in her 67, while England's Mel Reid rolled in her fourth birdie putt of a solid 69 at the last and she will begin the final round four adrift of the leaders.
Sei Young Kim vaulted into contention after three birdies in four holes capped an outward 32, but the world No 6 fell foul of the Rules of Golf at the 13th and incurred a costly two-shot penalty.
After a wayward drive, Kim hit a provisional which she failed to declare clearly, and two strokes were added to the double-bogey six she ended up making, although a birdie at the last ensured a sub-par round and left her six behind the leaders.