Sunday, November 19, 2006

ADT Championship – 3rd Round

The eight players who get a chance to win $1 million at the ADT Championship are Il Mi Chung, Julieta Granada, Mi Hyun Kim, Ai Miyazato, Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis. They will all start at even par today with the lowest round taking home the big prize.

There was no six-way playoff on Saturday (or any playoff at all) but the race to make the cut was still pretty entertaining. Cristie Kerr was -3 going to the 17th but pulled her tee shot into the left-side lateral hazard and took a double-bogey to put her out. Se Ri Pak also found the water on 17 to end her hopes, while Hee-Won Han, Morgan Pressel and Wendy Ward didn’t ever get going enough to challenge. Juli Inkster looked to be out of it when she was +2 after 12, but three birdies over the last six gave her some temporary life.

For most of the afternoon it appeared that -3 would be good enough for at least a playoff. Ochoa combined five birdies with no bogeys to get home at -4. Jeong Jang was solidly in the top eight at -5 through 13 but bogeyed 14 and 16 to finish -3. It came down to Creamer and Gulbis to determine where the cut line would fall. Paula came to 18 at -3 and played a six-iron to within four feet. She made the birdie to finish at -4. Natalie birdied 15 to get to -4, then parred out to eliminate Jang.

So I predicted three of the final eight correctly (Ochoa, Webb and Creamer) and can still get the winner right (Ochoa). I must confess that I will be happy for whoever wins this thing – for various reasons I like all eight of the players. After watching the first three rounds I would say I like the chances for Webb and Ochoa the best, but may the best player on Sunday win.

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