Lorena Ochoa maintained her three shot lead with a round of 70 (-11 overall) at the Ginn Tribute. Nicole Castrale is second after a 68 (-8). Cristie Kerr’s 67 moved her into a tie for third at -7 with Angela Park. Angela Stanford (-5), Sarah Lee (-4) and Paula Creamer (-4) are the only others with a realistic chance to win with 18 holes left to play.
Meaghan Francella (-3) had the day’s best round of 66, which would have been one better if not for a bogey at 18. Becky Morgan (-3) and Mi Hyun Kim (-3) also moved themselves into the Top 10 with sub-70 rounds. Annika Sorenstam stumbled to a 74 which put herself at +1. Karrie Webb (+2) and Laura Davies (+2) ended their hopes with rounds of 77 and 76, respectively.
The starting times were moved up due to expected rough weather Saturday afternoon and all rounds were completed at least by 3pm EDT. The two-hour coverage on NBC starts at 4pm.
Post TV update:
So much for avoiding the bad weather! The final groups played the entire back nine in a steady rain. There was a 15-minute delay when squeegies had to be brought in for puddles on the 13th green. Dottie Pepper lambasted the officials for not being prepared for that eventuality. That delay appeared to trigger a stretch of poor play by Ochoa, but raindrops probably had as much to do with that as the wait at 13. Lorena was up by six strokes after chipping in for birdie at 12, but bogeyed 13, 16 and 17. Those last two came thanks to a pair of 3-putts. Castrale's lone bogey at 18 was also of the 3-putt variety. Angela Park held steady but got displaced in tomorrow's final group by Kerr.
Kudos to NBC for breaking out the HD cameras for this event. It was definitely the first LPGA coverage I've seen in high-definition, although CBS could have done so at KNC but I couldn't tell as I didn't have access to an HD set during that event. Despite the rain-streaked lenses, the view was outstanding.