Park is 2 up heading to last round of Olympics

Inbee Park of South Korea simply survived the brutally windy conditions.

Park shot a 1-under-par 70 to take a two-stroke lead over top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Gerina Piller of the United States into the final round of the Women’s Olympic Tournament on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro.

“It was a struggle,” said Park, who built a three-shot lead with unlikely birdies on the 16th and 17th holes before taking a bogey at the last. “I putted really well but my ball-striking was not very good so I made some bogeys. But everyone was struggling out there in the wind.

“I am happy with my standing and I am looking forward to tomorrow. It would be very special if I would be able to (win the gold medal).

Park had a 54-hole total of 10-under 202.

Ko made a hole in one from 140 yards on the eighth hole en route to a bogey-free 65 that was the low round of the day.

“That was the first hole in one of my life,” said Ko, who will play the final round in the last group with Park and Piller. “I’ve had some bad luck, hitting the pin and bouncing away, and one that actually went in the hole and came out.

“It was a tough day out there but I’m really happy with the way I played. A bogey-free 65, I’ll take it and run home. I knew I needed a round like this and I’m happy with the position I’m in going to the last round.”

Piller, who is winless on the LPGA Tour but has had a strong season, birdied three holes in a row through No. 7 and played flawlessly until two bogeys on the back nine in a 68.

“This was one of my best rounds.” Piller said. “I hung in there and made some huge putts. I finished with a bogey, but I like my position and my game right now. You have to just trust what the wind is doing and make aggressive swings.

“You have to be all in on every shot.”

Shanshan Feng of China carded a 68 and was three shots back in solo fourth, while Amy Yang of South Korea had a 70 and was six strokes behind in a tie for fifth with Charley Hull of England, who wound up at 74, and In Gee Chun of South Korea, who finished at 72.

Su-Hyun Oh of Australia posted seven birdies in a 66 and was seven down in a tie for eighth with Anna Nordqvist (68) of Sweden, Suzann Pettersen (69) of Norway, Paula Reto (68) of Spain, Brooke Henderson (75) of Canada, Minjee Lee (73) of Australia and Stacy Lewis (76) of the U.S.

Lexi Thompson, the third member of the U.S. contingent, struggled to a 76 and was tied for 31st, 13 shots behind.

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