Lorena Ochoa leads by two going into the final round of the Sybase Classic. Teresa Lu and Sophie Gustafson are tied for second at -7 while the two Chois on Tour (rookie Na Yeon and H.J.) are tied for fourth at -6.
Ochoa birdied three straight holes to finish her first nine (16-18) and tacked on two more on her final nine to move in front with a 67. Lu played earlier in the day and combined an eagle with two birdies to card a 69. Gustafson eagled twice (giving her nine on the year, most on Tour), leading to a 68. The Chois (not related, of course) both put up a 68 and I promise I’ll differentiate between them in tomorrow’s recap, unless perhaps they decide to mirror each other scores again. Toward the end of the TV coverage, Annika Sorenstam started striking the ball erratically – her second at 18 struck a tree (see the highlights post) and then she three-putted for double-bogey. She also bogeyed her final hole (#9) to post 73 and leave herself at -4, five shots behind. Not done, but not good.
Good moves today by Taylor Leon (69 -3 T10), Momoko Ueda (68 -3 T10) and veteran Sherri Turner (69 -2 T17). Bad moves were made by Carolina Llano (74 -2 T17), Song-Hee Kim (75 -2 T17), Pat Hurst (74 -2 T17) and the most surprising of all, Shi Hyun Ahn (77 +2 T61). The cut was +2 and on the outs are In-Kyung Kim, Carin Koch, Sherri Steinhauer and Candie Kung. Three players who managed 69 on Thursday shot themselves out of the event today – Cindy Rarick (79 +4), Leta Lindley (80 +5) and Anna Rawson (84 +9).
16 players are within six shots of the lead but since Lorena is the rabbit the rest are chasing, I’m going to trim the group of contenders down to the Top 6 plus Sorenstam. Ochoa hasn’t blown one of these in a while (usually she expands that lead by a lot on Sunday) and I don’t expect that to change on a course where she’s already won. Now if the weather will only allow it to play out – 70% chance of rain Sunday afternoon.
Be sure to check out The Constructivist's blow-by-blow of several players' Saturday ordeals. Great details!