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Kim shares third round lead after 67 at The American Express

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La Quinta (California), Jan 24 (IANS) Korea’s Si Woo Kim shot a 5-under 67 to share the third round lead with Max Homa and Tony Finau at The American Express.

The 25-year-old on Saturday snared five birdies against no bogeys at PGA West Stadium Course to tie for the lead on 15-under 201 and give himself an opportunity to win a third PGA Tour victory, his last being The Players Championship in 2017.

Homa, who has one career title, carded a 65 which featured nine birdies and a double bogey while Finau returned a 67 highlighted by eight birdies as he chases a second victory some five years on from his maiden success.

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Second round leader Sungjae Im had three water balls en route to a disappointing 73, including two on the ninth hole which led to a triple bogey seven. Despite opening his round with birdie-birdie, he slipped back to tied 20th place on 206.

Kim made birdies on Hole Nos. 3, 5, 12, 14 and 16 but rued missed opportunities on the greens. He missed putts of six feet on the seventh hole, 11 feet on 10, seven feet on 11 and 11 feet on 17. It will be the fourth time he has held the third round lead/co-lead, converting one which was his maiden Tour victory at the 2016 Wyndham Championship.

With one top-10- and two top-25s this season, Kim, who finished T9 here in 2016, said some recent work done with swing coach Claude Harmon has allowed him to freewheel his golf game at PGA West, hence his strong showing thus far.

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Countryman Byeong Hun An bounced back from a disappointing second round 73 by shooting six birdies against a lone bogey for a 67 which pushed him up to tied 13th position, four behind the co-leaders.

Despite hitting only 11 greens in regulation, the 29-year-old An gave himself an outside chance to challenge for a maiden PGA Tour on Sunday.

–IANS

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