Brooke Henderson, Nelly Korda lead LPGA Lotte at Ko Olina
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Brooke Henderson, Nelly Korda lead LPGA Lotte at Ko Olina

  • Courtesy Lotte Championship

    Brooke Henderson shares the lead with Nelly Korda after the third round of the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Brooke Henderson tees off on the first hole today.

Brooke Henderson positioned herself for a shot at becoming the first two-time winner of the Lotte Championship.

Nelly Korda stands squarely in her way, as the 20-year-old American is tied with Henderson, 21, heading into Saturday’s final round at Ko Olina Golf Club.

Henderson and Korda were at 14 under par following today’s windy third round of the LPGA event. Henderson, the defending champion, shot 3-under par 69. Korda, who led after the first round, countered with a 70.

Eun-Hee Ji, who led after the second round, struggled to a 2-over 73 today, but remained in the hunt just one shot back. She is tied for third with 2016 winner Minjee Lee, who had 70 today.

Ariya Jutanugarn shot today’s best round of 66 and the LPGA’s reigning player of the year climbed into fifth place, two shots off the pace.

“It’s still a really packed leaderboard, and whoever plays really well tomorrow is going to come out on top or close to the top,” Henderson said. “So right now it’s hard to say what that number is going to be. Kind of all just depends on the wind. … Really anything can happen.”

Henderson was a teenager who had just given up playing hockey for golf when Ai Miyazato won the first Lotte in 2012. Henderson became the event’s seventh different winner last year; with a victory today she would tie the record for most LPGA wins by a Canadian.

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