Park retains lead in Singapore

World number two Inbee Park kept alive her hopes of claiming a wire-to-wire victory at the HSBC Women’s Championship in Singapore by finishing the third round at the summit of the leaderboard.

The South Korean shared the first round lead with Yani Tseng after both fired 66 on Thursday, then tied Carla Ciganda for the second round lead on nine-under after carding 69 and now leads by two shot on 13-under after a 68 on Saturday.

She will start Sunday’s third round in the same group as world number one Lydia Ko and number three Stacey Lewis, who are tied for second on 11-under after both carded 67 on Saturday.

Neither Park nor Lewis can wrestle the number one ranking away from Ko this week, but Park says it’s a goal which features high up on her list of priorities.

“I want it, I just know I want it, but I’m just not going to push myself too hard to get something,” Park said.

“I mean, it’s something that if you push for, it’s just hard to get. Just a couple of wins and playing great golf, and it’s going to come, so I’m just going to not rush anything and just play good golf.”

Park shot a perfect round on Saturday, carding birdies on the third, fourth, 13th and 18th and not a single bogey.

Ko also managed to stay bogey-free, carding five birdies on her way to the five-under 67. The 17-year-old is playing for her third consecutive win.

She has won the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Women’s New Zealand Open over the past three weeks.

“Yeah, that would be I guess a dream three weeks, but I’m just going to try my best,” Ko said.

“The girls are playing good golf and it’s a tough course. Just one shot can cost you a couple.”

Ko is the youngster ever golfer, male or female, to be ranked number one in the world.