Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

Anna Nordqvist

Creamer was happy to be tied for the lead after taking a penalty stroke at her final hole, before getting up-and-down to save par.

Brooke M. Henderson tees off on the fifth hole during the second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic golf tournament Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Galloway Township, N.J.

"I feel really pleased with how I played today", Kim said at her post-tournament press conference. "Of course, like everybody, want to win the first tournament and it's still my big goal, but I just want to focus what I have to do out there".

Nordqvist carded an even par 71 and said she'd be aggressive on Sunday in seeking a third-straight title.

Before the event Ko was guaranteed to lose the top spot to Jutanugarn or So Yeon Ryu.

Co-leader Kim, a four-times LPGA victor, is getting back to her best after an injury she said was incurred falling on stairs late previous year.

"I really prepared for this summer and I really didn't expect it right away but I knew my game was better than past year, so that's really all I could ask for", she said in a greenside interview, a broad smile on her face after being drenched in champagne. I had to rush one time.

"We just couldn't get a rhythm, especially with some of these pins and the wind and everything", she said.

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"This winter I didn't have any break, I needed some time to get ready for the summer", Kim said.

In-Kyung Kim of South Korea and Paula Creamer of the United States will lead the field into the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

"Feel like I had a good putt on ..."

Ryu continued a disappointing record at the Shoprite Classic by missing the cut and so the door was left open for Jutanugarn to take over from New Zealand's Lydia Ko who, after holding the top position for 84 weeks, has slipped to number two.

With Ryu's streak ended, Stacy Lewis becomes the tour's active leader in consecutive cuts made, with 49, including this event. The Smiths Falls, Ont., native shot a 69 and is 5 under.

Kim also parred the rest of her way after the bogey at the 14th to close out a two-shot win. She almost won this tournament as an amateur in 2004 but missed a putt on the final green and wound up tying for second behind Cristie Kerr.

She said she had been "pretty nervous" through much of the round due to the testing breeze and also because her threesome was being timed for slow play for several holes.

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