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Unknown Min leads LPGA major by one

Morgan Pressel, Third Round, LPGA Championship
Pat Crowe II/AP
Morgan Pressel made two birdies on the back nine to shoot 70.

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (AP) — The first surprise at blustery Bulle Rock was that someone could make eight birdies and shoot 65.

That gave way to a greater mystery Saturday at the LPGA Championship.

Just who is Na On Min?

She is an 18-year-old playing in only her sixth tournament as a pro, and her first major championship. She idolizes Se Ri Pak, typical of most young golfers from South Korea, but her lasting memory is seeing a tan line around Pak's ankles when she took off her shoes to hit a shot out of the water in a U.S. Women's Open playoff 10 years ago.

And if she keeps playing like this, Min won't need too many more introductions.

With four birdies over the last six holes, Min shot a 7-under 65 in testing conditions — by two shots the best score at Bulle Rock — to give herself a one-shot lead over Suzann Pettersen and a chance to become the youngest major champion in LPGA history.

"I'm just really excited," said Min, who was at 10-under 206. "This is my first major. I'll do my best to keep focus on each shot."

She will play in the final group with Pettersen, who recovered from two double bogeys and her torturously slow play — it took more than 4 1/2 hours as a twosome — to shoot 71.

Karrie Webb stayed in the mix with a 10-foot par save on the 17th hole and shot 71. She was two shots behind at 208, along with Angela Park (68), another 18-year-old rookie.

Pressel, bidding for the second leg of the Grand Slam, shot 70 and was only three shots behind.

Asked if she knew who Min was, Pressel was honest as ever.

"I did not," she said.

But the score sure got her attention. Wind that brushed off overnight rain stuck around Bulle Rock and made it play as tough as it has all week. Min wasn't the least bit bothered, overcoming a bogey on the par-5 second hole by keeping the ball in play, and close to the hole.

Pettersen finished her roller-coaster round with an 8-foot birdie on the 17th hole and was pleased to be in the final group of a major for the second time this year. Ten weeks ago, she had a three-shot lead at the Kraft Nabisco until a meltdown on the closing holes.

Even so, Pettersen could not think of another tournament at any level where she didn't know the opponent in the final group.

"I've probably seen her," Pettersen. "It's so hard to keep track of them. I'll probably know her when I see her on the first tee."

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