INCHEON, South Korea » South Korean duo Hee Kyung Bae and Kyu Jung Baek both shot 4-under 68s to take a share of the lead after the third round of the LPGA’s KEB-HanaBank Championship on Saturday.
Bae birdied five holes after the turn on the Ocean Course at the Sky72 Golf Club, while Baek had six birdies to go with two bogeys.
"After making the first birdie on the back nine, I really picked up momentum," Bae said. "My putting was stronger and my shots were stronger."
Both were at 5-under 211 overall, one stroke ahead of a group of 10 that includes No. 2-ranked Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and overnight leader Karine Icher of France, who managed only a 73.
Pettersen is bidding to win the tournament for a third time.
"I’m trying to just stick to the game plan," Pettersen said. "I mean, I still feel like I have a low round on this course in me. Hopefully we can knock it out tomorrow."
Park (68) could supplant Stacy Lewis at No. 1 if she wins the tournament. Lewis is not playing this week.
U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie is two strokes off the pace, tied for 13th, after sinking four birdies on the last five holes for a 67.
Wie is making her first start since withdrawing during the first round of the Evian Championship in September after reinjuring a stress fracture in her right hand.
Defending champion Amy Yang of South Korea shot a 67 and is four strokes off the lead. Women’s British Open winner Mo Martin struggled with a 75 that left her tied for 54th place.
Brittany Lincicome of the United States and Beatriz Recari of Spain both shot even-par 72 to join the group of 10 players who are one stroke back.
Luiten, Stenson among semifinalists at World Match Play
ASH, England » Dutchman Joost Luiten extended his unbeaten run in the World Match Play Championship, routing Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal 6 and 5 in the quarterfinals.
Luiten had seven birdies in overcast and wet conditions on The London Golf Club to set up a semifinal match Sunday against Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, a 2-up winner over France’s Victor Dubuisson.
Luiten was 3-0 in round-robin play to reach the quarterfinals.
In the other semifinal, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson will face South Africa’s George Coetzee.
Stenson beat Swedish compatriot Jonas Blixt 2 up, and Coetzee topped American Patrick Reed 2 and 1.
The final also is Sunday.
Haas leads Champions event
CONOVER, N.C. » Jay Haas shot a 4-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
Haas, the 60-year-old former Wake Forest player who won the event in 2005 and 2009, had a 12-under 130 on Rock Barn Golf and Spa’s Champions Course. He extended his streak of under-par rounds to 22, making five birdies and a lone bogey on No. 17. Haas won the last of his 16 Champions Tour titles in June 2012 in Iowa.
Joe Durant, tied for the first-round lead with Haas at 63, had a 69 to drop into a tie for second with Kirk Triplett and South Africa’s David Frost. Triplett, the winner last week in Cary, had a 66, and Frost shot 65.
Frost had seven birdies and a bogey to match the best round of the day. Triplett had six birdies and a bogey, and Durant birdied the final three holes to finish with six birdies and four bogeys.
Fraser finishes strong in Hong Kong
HONG KONG » Australia’s Marcus Fraser birdied four of his last six holes for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead in the Hong Kong Open, his first event after an eight-month injury layoff.
Fraser was sidelined since February because of a left hand injury that required surgery. He had an 11-under 199 total in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.
Fellow Australian Scott Hend was second after a 67. Second-round leader Ernie Els was tied for sixth at 8 under after a 71. The South African star turned 45 on Friday.