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I.K. Kim is eyeing redemption for the major agony she experienced in 2012 as she heads into the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with a six-shot lead.

With a 1ft putt to clinch the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now known as the ANA Inspiration), Kim’s putt horseshoed out forcing a play-off with fellow Korean Sun-Young Yoo, who went on to win.

After a troublesome spell in majors – she only has three top tens in her last 24 – Kim has changed her mindset in recent times, which she believes has been key to recording three LPGA Tour wins in the last ten months.

“I’ve been finally able to let go of the title of not having won a major,” she explained after setting a new 54-hole Ricoh Women’s British Open scoring record at Kingsbarns.

“I think that’s why that I’m playing so well. I was disappointed at myself after 2012 when I made the mistake. I mean, everybody makes mistakes and it was my problem. I criticised myself a lot, and it’s not very healthy.

“It’s been quite tough but I started to work on myself, not only on the golf course, but off the golf course. Just be nice to myself and able to have compassion and gentleness with myself. I think it’s really helping me to play better. I always give my best but at the same time, I know that sometimes I can’t really control the results.”

Speaking about her chances tomorrow, Kim added: “I’d like to think [having a sizeable lead] is much better than not having a lead. But at the same time, I really have to focus on my game and have a good time. I know the expectation but I feel like I think I should give myself a little bit of credit and enjoy tonight.”

Georgia Hall

Hall bemoans ‘disappointing’ finish

The rising English star made three birdies in a row from the 13th to 15th holes to half Kim’s deficit from six shots to three but a poor tee shot on the 16th and a four-putt on the 17th resulted in a bogey and double-bogey to widen the deficit back to six once more.

Afterwards, Hall reflected on a ‘disappointing’ end but was pleased with how she handled herself in the new surroundings of the final group at a major championship.

“I wasn’t nervous at all today, which I was a bit surprised about,” she said. “I thought I would be, especially going out late. I just made a few silly mistakes with my putting. 

“I’m a bit disappointed about my finish but hopefully I can shoot a really good one tomorrow. Hopefully I can get off to a good start.”

Lexi Thompson

Lexi falls away

At the start of the final round and in the penultimate group, Lexi Thompson was one of the favourites. But by the end of the third round, she found herself ten shots behind I-K. Kim.

The 22-year-old got off to a poor start with a two-bogey, no birdie front nine and, despite going birdie-birdie on the tenth and 11th holes, it wasn’t enough to kick-start a back nine blitz like the second round with a bogey at the 13th and double-bogey at the 16th all but ending her hopes of clinching a second major title.

Ally Mc Donald

Key quotes

Ally McDonald (-10): “I-K. is putting up some great numbers but I can only do what I can do. It’s definitely going to be a fight. You don’t really know what the elements are going to be. Anything can pop up. So you just have to be prepared for anything and no matter what, stay in your element, stay in control and enjoy what you’re doing.”

Inbee Park (-10): “The last two days I’ve really struggled with the putter and just couldn’t get it to the hole. I just couldn’t trust the greens because they were slow but today they were much quicker which helped me a lot.”

Stacy Lewis (-9): “I really putted pretty poorly the first two days and worked on some things yesterday. My mum told me I needed to take my putter straighter back. Mum was apparently right. I hate to give her credit but she was right. I might buy her dinner tonight.”

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