Christina Kim posted eagles on both nines en route to a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Azahara Munoz of Spain in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City.
The 30-year-old Kim, from San Jose, made eagles on the second and 16th holes, and added three birdies in her round.
“It seems like every Sunday I’ve been playing well,” said Kim, who has won twice on the LPGA Tour, but not since the2005 Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions. “Just shoot myself in the foot the first couple rounds, so before we started, (caddie TJ Jones) said, ‘You know what? Let’s pretend it’s Sunday and go from there.’ It’s been a lot of fun.
“I’ve personally gotten a lot of inspiration from being fortunate enough to play in the same era that Lorena played in. You know, we were rookies together in the Symetra Tour and then we were rookies together in the LPGA Tour. “She beat me out by like $250 for the Player of the Year on the Symetra Tour.”
Munoz was tied for the lead with Kim after making her own eagle at No. 17, but recording a bogey on the final hole to finish at 66.
Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old from New Zealand who a day earlier became the youngest player in history selected as LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year, birdied the last two holes and was third at 68.
Lizette Salas of Azusa and USC bounced back from a double-bogey 6 on the first hole with four birdies on the front nine en route to a 69 and was tied for fourth with Gerina Piller and Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand.
Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea shot 70 and was tied for seventh with defending champion Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, Brittany Lincicome, Karine Icher of France and Morgan Pressel.