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Bill Zimmerman
Lydia Ko during Saturday's third round of the LPGA's 2014 JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix.
Lydia Ko during Saturday's third round of the LPGA's 2014 JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix.

Lydia Ko's second 67 of the week in Phoenix, on the heels of her second-round 66, lifted her to the lead Saturday at the JTBC Founders Cup on the LPGA Tour.

Ko holds a one-shot lead at 16 under going into Sunday's final round, with Jessica Korda and Mirim Lee tied in second.

Here are 5 Things to know about Saturday's play at Wildfire Golf Club.

• • •

1. KO-NSISTENT: Steady as she goes, Lydia Ko's first three rounds have been either 5 or 6 under.

More specifically, Ko has attacked Wildfire's closing stretch. At Nos. 15-18 ...

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Mirim Lee leads after two rounds of the JTBC Founders Cup.
Mirim Lee leads after two rounds of the JTBC Founders Cup.

Mirim Lee is just getting started on the LPGA Tour — and isn't taking baby steps.

Neither is 16-year-old Lydia Ko.

Lee shot a 5-under 67 on Friday in the JTBC Founders Cup to take a two-stroke lead over Ko into the weekend. The 23-year-old South Korean played the final eight holes in 5 under, making an eagle and three birdies to reach 13-under 131 at Desert Ridge's Wildfire Golf Club.

"I played a little boring on the front nine, so I went more aggressive on the back nine and it worked well," Lee said. "So, now I plan ...

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Categories: Lydia Ko, LPGA
Beth Ann Nichols
Inbee Park shot a 6-under 66 behind four birdies over her final five holes on Thursday at the JTBC Founders Cup.
Inbee Park shot a 6-under 66 behind four birdies over her final five holes on Thursday at the JTBC Founders Cup.

PHOENIX – Inbee Park just kind of ambles along and then BAM! She’s back on top. That’s how it felt during Round 1 of the JTBC Founders Cup. Park walked in the shadows of 16-year-old Lydia Ko, who played alongside her and led the way for most of the morning wave, and then suddenly the World No. 1 walked off her 18th hole with a share of the lead.

Four birdies in her last five holes gave Park a routine 6-under 66 Thursday, making her leader in the clubhouse along with American Gerina Piller, who is still searching for ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
A view of hole No. 5 from a little less than 300 yards out on Pinehurst's No. 2 course, host of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in 2014.
A view of hole No. 5 from a little less than 300 yards out on Pinehurst's No. 2 course, host of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in 2014.

PHOENIX –– Natalie Gulbis has one of the best marketing minds on the LPGA. So it comes as no surprise that she’s giddy about the idea of back-to-back majors. The U.S. Women’s Open hasn’t received this kind of pre-tournament buzz since, well, ever.

But, in this case, Gulbis doesn’t represent what the majority of marquee players think about playing No. 2. after the men. Which is why LPGA commissioner Mike Whan invited USGA executive director Mike Davis to an LPGA player meeting this week at the JTBC Founders Cup to answer questions and ease concerns.

The ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Stacy Lewis reacts to a bunker shot she hit during last year's Solheim Cup.
Stacy Lewis reacts to a bunker shot she hit during last year's Solheim Cup.

PHOENIX – Stacy Lewis’ bunker issues continue at the JTBC Founders Cup. Lewis beaned Cristie Kerr in the head Tuesday during a practice round at Wildfire Golf Club. Lewis said it wasn’t a skulled shot but rather a high shot that went too far.

“It knocked me over,” said Kerr, who put ice on the wound after the round and then continued playing. The ball hit Kerr several inches above her left ear, and a sizable welt was visible a day later.

“It was way worse yesterday,” Kerr said after her Wednesday pro-am.

“It was seriously like this,” she said ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Inbee Park (left) has stayed atop the rankings for 49 weeks, but No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (right) has made it her life's dream to attain the top spot.
Inbee Park (left) has stayed atop the rankings for 49 weeks, but No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (right) has made it her life's dream to attain the top spot.

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen kept a golf diary when she was a schoolgirl. Actually, she kept several of them, but one in particular is on a shelf in her Orlando, Fla., home. The cover of the book is a montage of images of Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam. Inside, she lists her goals and dreams, details of her practice sessions and how she planned to reach No. 1.

“I guess there's a dream inside of me that kind of still is very much alive,” said Pettersen, “but it's not something that I kind of run around and think about ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Former Arizona State players gather for a reunion prior to the Founders Cup.
Former Arizona State players gather for a reunion prior to the Founders Cup.

PHOENIX –– With so many former Arizona State players in the field at this week’s JTBC Founders Cup – seven to be exact – the Sun Devil coaches organized a mini-reunion on Sunday at Modern Margarita to kick off the week.

Associate coach Missy Farr-Kaye, a 1990 ASU grad, said 18 former players attended the reunion and four brought babies. Emilee Klein-Gille, the 1994 NCAA champ and a three-time winner on the LPGA, is pregnant with her second child.

“One of our tenets at ASU is that we are a Sun Devil family,” said Farr-Kaye, who was out by the putting green ...

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Beth Ann Nichols

Editor's note: This feature first ran in Golfweek magazine that hit doorsteps on Feb. 28, 2014. If you'd like to subscribe, click here.

• • •

Cristie Kerr and husband Erik Stevens became parents seconds after they went through a security line in the Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

“I always knew we’d become parents in an airport,” Stevens cracked.

The couple FaceTimed with their newborn son, Mason Kerr Stevens, from the operating room, along with the surrogate mother and doctor, of course. Mason, conceived through in vitro fertilization, is genetically theirs.

“I’m bawling my eyes out by the ...

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Bill Zimmerman
USGA golf
USGA golf

Twenty U.S. sites and four abroad will play host to 36 holes of sectional qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst, N.C.

Like Pinehurst, in fact, four sites will pull double-duty and play host to men's and women's play. Quail Valley GC in Vero Beach, Fla., will host sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Open. Industry Hills GC near Los Angeles, The Heritage at Westmoor in Westminster, Colo. and The Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., will host women's sectional and U.S ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Juli Inkster will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2015, leaning on her experience as player and assistant captain three years ago.
Juli Inkster will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2015, leaning on her experience as player and assistant captain three years ago.

Juli Inkster will captain the 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup team, and she’ll lead the same way she built her Hall of Famer career – with her heart.

“I’m not a huge number cruncher,” Inkster said. “I’m not going to pick a girl if she has more birdies on a par-3 than somebody I really want on the team.”

Inkster, 53, will try to end a two-Cup drought for the Americans, who lost for the first time on American soil last August in Colorado. The 2015 Solheim will be held for the time in Germany on Sept. 18-20 ...

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Alistair Tait
Charley Hull earned her first Ladies European Tour win at the 2014 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco and could soon earn LPGA sponsor exemptions (shown here during the 2014 Ladies Australian Masters).
Charley Hull earned her first Ladies European Tour win at the 2014 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco and could soon earn LPGA sponsor exemptions (shown here during the 2014 Ladies Australian Masters).

Charley Hull’s sensational first professional win could be good and bad news for the Ladies European Tour.

Hull returned a closing 9-under-par 62 in the final round of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. She missed a 10-foot putt on the last hole for a 61, which would have tied the lead with Gwladys Nocera at 16-under. However, the French player three-putted the last to find herself in a playoff after the pair tied on 15-under.

Hull, who began the day five shots behind Nocera, won at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff when she holed a 4-foot ...

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Beth Ann Nichols

It was quiet on the fifth floor when Ashtyn Brown visited Wednesday. The inpatient ward for cancer patients at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Brown was relieved to see, was not at capacity.

“I got a lot of peace from that,” said Brown, who spent a large chunk of her childhood on the fifth floor.

During a decades-long golf career, Rosie Jones has attended plenty of media days but none like the one Wednesday at Riley in snowy downtown Indianapolis. Proceeds from the Legends Championship at French Lick go to the Riley Children’s Foundation, and Jones was in ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
The LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, won by Inbee Park last year, will lose its title sponsor after 2014.
The LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, won by Inbee Park last year, will lose its title sponsor after 2014.

It’s official. Kraft won’t be back in 2015 to host the LPGA’s first major of the season, according to a report in The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif. Although next month's tournament likely be the last year for Oreo overloads and Wienermobile sightings, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan insists that it will not mark the end of jumps into Poppie’s Pond. The first major championship of the LPGA season, no matter what it’s called, will remain at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, he said.

“Mission Hills and the Kraft Nabisco Championship carry a special ...

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Beth Ann Nichols
Nelly Korda will play in the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship as an amateur (shown here during the 87th South Atlantic Amateur at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla.).
Nelly Korda will play in the LPGA's 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship as an amateur (shown here during the 87th South Atlantic Amateur at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla.).

Nine amateurs will compete on sponsor exemptions at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on April 3-6 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., including 15-year-old Nelly Korda, who made headlines at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open by making the cut alongside older sister Jessica.

“I learned how to breathe properly when I get nervous,” Nelly of her experience at Sebonack, where she tied for 64th. Jessica competed on a sponsor exemption at the Kraft as an amateur in 2010, tying for 67th.

Alabama’s Emma Talley – one of four college players to receive invites – was an automatic recipient for having won ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Cheyenne Woods' win at the 2014 Australian Ladies Masters will likely affect LPGA sponsor exemptions this season.
Cheyenne Woods' win at the 2014 Australian Ladies Masters will likely affect LPGA sponsor exemptions this season.

Cheyenne Woods will play in the LPGA's JTBC Founders Cup this month in Phoenix, the tour announced Monday.

Woods receives a sponsor exemption, as does 2005 U.S. Women’s Open champion Birdie Kim.

Woods posted on Twitter via her account, @Cheyenne_Woods: "It's official, my next event will be the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona! Very excited for the opportunity to play in my hometown!"

The Wake Forest grad and niece of Tiger Woods put herself in position for sponsor exemptions with a win a the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters earlier this year on the Ladies European ...

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