South Koreans Ryu and Park, US teen Noh share LPGA lead07 December 2020 AFP, Washington
South Korea's Ryu So-yeon fired a six- under par 65 to grab a share of the lead with compatriot Park In-bee and US teen Yealimi Noh after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Volunteers of America Championship.
World number 15 Ryu's bogey-free round featured five birdies in the first eight holes and another at the par-5 13th to leave her level with Noh and Park on four-under 209 after 54 holes at The Colony in suburban Dallas.
"I have no complaints about my ball-striking today," said Ryu. "I hit 17 greens, I believe, and then I made so many birdie chances. I wish I could have made more putts on the back nine."
Ryu, a two-time major champion who captured this year's Korean Women's Open, seeks her seventh career LPGA victory and her first since the 2018 Meijer Classic.
Noh, a 19-year-old rookie, birdied all four par-5 holes - the second, sixth, 13th and 17th, but then closed with a double bogey to shoot 71 and fall back into a share of the lead with Ryu and Park.
Noh's best LPGA finish was a runner-up effort at last year's Portland Classic. "As soon as I finish, I wanted to see the leaderboard and to see that I'm playing with those two tomorrow," said Noh about playing with Park and Ryu.
"I'm really, really excited. Actually in the beginning of the week I was talking to my parents about Inbee and So Yeon and how I really wanted to play with them and see just how good they are and be light there next to them. So I'm excited for tomorrow." World number five Park fired a 69, making a birdie at the sixth as well as back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth before her lone bogey at the par-3 11th.
Park, a seven-time major winner, seeks her second title of 2020 after taking her 20th career LPGA victory at the Women's Australian Open in February just before the season was halted for the Covid-19 pandemic.
A pack sharing fourth on 210 included England's Charley Hull, Japan's Nasa Hataoka, Americans Angela Stanford, Jessica Korda and Kristen Gillman, world number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea and Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum.