Tseng leads by one

World No 1 Yani Tseng took the lead at the LPGA State Farm Classic on Saturday thanks to a second straight 66.

World No 1 Yani Tseng took the lead at the LPGA State Farm Classic on Saturday thanks to a second straight 66.

Taiwan’s Tseng is on 17 under and leads by one after a bogey-free round at Panther Creek Country Club which included birdies on all four par 5s.

She is seeking her first win since the season-opening LPGA Thailand, and her sixth win overall.

Second-round leader Mindy Kim shot a 69, which included a bogey on the final hole. Up till then she was tied with Tseng, with the two fighting side by side in windy conditions for most of the day, but now trails by one.

“My goal is to have fun and make birdies,” Tseng said. “You’re not going to shoot even and then wait for another player to miss. You need to be aggressive. I can’t wait to go out there tomorrow and make a lot of birdies.”

Beside the par 5s, she added birdies on the par-4 12th and par-3 17th.

“I just tried to be patient and hit the fairway and green and make two putt,” she said. “I feel really good. It was great even though I miss a putt on 18. I tried my best.”

American Kim had problems with her ball-striking on Saturday.

“My ball wasn’t going so straight,” she said, “but my round turned into a good round.”

Kim still managed six birdies in her round, though they were offset by three bogeys as well. She’ll be in the final group alongisde Tseng on Sunday as she chases her first LPGA Tour title.

“I’m excited about Sunday,” she said. “I’m playing with the No. 1 player in the world. I’m very excited to be playing with her. Hopefully it will be a good day.”

Another American, Brittany Lincicome, coming off a victory in New Jersey last week, shot a 66 to tie for third with China’s Shanshan Feng, who made 69, on 14 under.

Defending champion Cristie Kerr (66) was another shot back on 13 under.

Lincicome was quick out of the blocks on Saturday, birdying five of the first eight holes.

“I was happy to be 3 under though four holes. I wanted to stop then,” she said. “I’d have taken 69.”

Kerr missed a short putt for birdie on the ninth, but bounced back with birdies on four of the next five holes as she completed the back nine in 31 shots.

“I got pretty mad that I three-putted,” she said. “I hit a perfect 5-iron into the green and just kind of hit (the par putt) a little thin and right. That putt kind of got me going. I started hitting it better.”