Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kraft Nabisco – 3rd Round

Lorena Ochoa carries a one shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Hee-Won Han is in second place at -5, while Maria Hjorth, Cristie Kerr, and Seon Hwa Lee are tied for third at -4.

Three straight birdies – at 10, 11 and 12 – put Ochoa at -8, up by two. After Heather Young bogeyed 12 and Han bogeyed 14, the Spitfire’s lead was three. However, for the second straight day, she came back to the field. A missed four-footer at 15 gave up one shot, and then a three-putt at 18 gave up another. Han missed a couple of birdie tries late or she would have been leading in her quest for that first major championship. Hjorth nearly aced 14 but messed up her third to 18 and took bogey there. Kerr shot a 65 – no, a 66 – wait, it was 67 – ok, the LPGA leaderboard finally settled on 66 to put herself within two. Lee’s bogeyless 68 has her in reach of her first major title. Young slipped late with bogeys at 17 and 18, her final tee shot finding the water, but is still only three back tied with Inbee Park and Liselotte Neumann. Annika Sorenstam overcame stomach problems for the second day in a row – she’s tied for ninth at -2 with Suzann Pettersen, whose Round-of-the-Day 65 puts her in it too.

If you’ve read my posts very much, you’ll know I consider anyone within six going into Sunday to have a reasonable chance to win. Here, that standard includes Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak (both -1), Natalie Gulbis, Mi Hyun Kim and Karen Stupples (all even). Now that’s one hell of a leaderboard! Couple that with the last-minute knowledge that my man Verne Lundquist will be calling the action for CBS tomorrow – I’m pumped!!

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