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Kia Classic: The battle is on between Jiyai Shin and Sandra Gal

March 27, 2011 |  2:00 pm

Shin1_300 With galleries six deep on the first hole and the temporary grandstand jampacked, the final pairing of the Kia Classic, leader Jiyai Shin of South Korea, and Sandra Gal of Germany, who is a shot back, are on their way. Both women parred the par-five, 548-yard first hole so Shin remains at 15-under par and Gal at 14-under.

There seem to be plenty of birdies to be found on the course, though. Na Yeon Choi, who started the day in third place at nine-under, has already birdied the first hole and Michelle Wie has jumped into fourth place (from a tie for eighth to start the round) with two birdies on her first four holes to get to seven-under. Making the biggest move of the day so far is 33-year-old veteran Marcy Hart who started the final round tied for 33rd. She's six-under through 12 holes Sunday on the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms.

Hart, who is also trying to earn one of 10 available spots in next week's Kraft Nabisco tournament, the season's first major, is now tied for fifth with world No. 1 Yani Tseng, who is three-under today, Diamond Bar's Mindy Kim, who is also aiming for one of the Kraft qualifying spots, South Korea's I.K. Kim and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist.

For the first time this year the LPGA left 10 spots for this first major for the top 10 women who haven't otherwise qualified for the Kraft Nabisco.


LPGA Kia Classic leaderboard

Jiyai Shin leads Sandra Gal heading into final round

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Jiyai Shin watches a putt during her third round of play at the Kia Classic on Saturday. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images