Lorena Ochoa tied the 24-hour-old course record with a round of 64 to open up a four-shot lead at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. Laura Diaz and Paula Creamer are tied for second at -10. Ya-Ni Tseng, a Taiwanese player from the Canadian Tour is fourth at -8.
Early in the day, scoring was good like the first two days. Rain moved in as the leaders were just getting underway, and that transformed the rough into the bad place it normally is. Shi Hyun Ahn especially had trouble keeping her ball in the fairway, and struggled to a 74 to fall to -5 and nine shots out of the lead. Juli Inkster was staying in the short grass for the most part and even had it to -10 after opening birdie-birdie, but her recent putting woes resurfaced and a 73 was the result (-6 overall). Kimberly Hall was hanging in nicely, but she started landing in the long stuff and finished bogey-bogey and -6.
Much like she did at St. Andrews, Ochoa didn’t seem to care whether she was in the fairway, rough or sand. She ran off three straight birdies at 2 through 4, five birdies through the first eight, and totalled seven with nary a bogey. Her birdie attempt at 18 just slid by or Karrie Webb’s course record would have been short-lived indeed. Diaz continued to make good shots, but became visibly frustrated after failing to cash in on several birdie opportunities. Creamer made the best run towards the top, posting a 66 but she too came up short on a couple of nice chances at birdie. Tseng managed a 67 with three birdies on the back nine.
I think Creamer has the best chance of catching Ochoa on Sunday. They will be playing together, so Paula should come out in a match-play mentality and go right after her. Lorena never got any pressure put on her at St. Andrews, and still hasn’t proven that she is immune from that.