DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Florida teen Jessica Korda shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to move within a stroke of leader Libby Smith after the third round of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Smith had a 73 on LPGA International’s Champions Course to finish at 7-under 209.
The 17-year-old Korda, playing as an amateur, had a bogey-free round on the Legends Course to match Aree Song at 6 under. Korda is the daughter of former tennis star Petr Korda.
“I’ve been waiting for the birdies to start dropping,” said Korda, runner-up at this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and a member of the winning 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team. “I knew if a couple of putts dropped, it was going to be good.”
Because of the tour’s age restrictions, if Korda qualifies Sunday, she will seek special permission from Commissioner Mike Whan to play as a professional next year.
Song had a 71 on the Legends Course, holing a 7-iron shot from 145 yards for an eagle on the par-4 10th Jimin Jeong has fourth at 5 under after a 73 on the Champions Course.
The top 20 players in the five-round event will earn full 2011 exemptions.