Sei Young Kim stays in front

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South Korea’s Sei Young Kim held on to her lead at the Lotte Championship on Friday courtesy of a two-under-par 70.

The 22-year-old, who won in the Bahamas in February in only her second start on the LPGA Tour, holds a narrow one-shot lead heading into the final round at Ko Olina in Hawaii.

“I’m going to enjoy and try to have a good time,” she said through an interpreter. “In the final round of the ANA Inspiration I was under a lot of pressure. I felt a lot of nerves.

“Tomorrow, I’m going to try to do the same thing I’ve done the past three days here and try to enjoy the round. I think I’m going to be able to come out with a different outcome.”

Conditions proved tricky in Friday’s third round, with winds gusting up to 30 mph, but Kim weathered the storm to stay atop the leaderboard, even though her three-shot lead was cut down to just one.

I.K. Kim was a stroke after a 71, and third-ranked Inbee Park was another shot behind after a 69. Jenny Shin was fourth at eight under after a 70, and Chella Choi made it a South Korean sweep of the top five places, shooting a 71 to get to seven under.

“It means a lot to me. I’ve been playing well the last few weeks and working very hard this offseason,” said I.K. Kim. “Where I’m at now I’m very comfortable actually.”

Six-time major champion Park knows her short game will be key on the final day.

“I think the most important thing to win the tournament is putting,” said Park, the winner this year in Singapore. “Clutch putts, putts inside 10 feet, that’s probably the most important thing in the final round.”

Defending champion Michelle Wie had five bogeys and four birdies in a 73 to fall eight shots back in her home event.

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