Saturday, August 16, 2008

Canadian Open – 3rd Round

Yani Tseng (-14) carries a four-stroke lead into the final round at the Canadian Open. Se Ri Pak is in second place at -10, while Lorena Ochoa and Katherine Hull are tied for third at -8. No other players are within nine shots of the lead.

Tseng overcame three bogeys to post a 68 and take command of the event. Ochoa shared the second-round lead but struggled mightily with a 74 that saw its only birdie at 18. Pak made a strong move on the front nine when she birdied 3 and 4 and then aced the 5th hole to reach -10 and tie for the lead. Se Ri was unable to sustain that run as she played the rest of the way in even par (a bogey at 12 and birdie at 18) while Tseng was stretching her advantage. Hull got home in 72 and remains in third place despite being nearly out of reach of the leader.

Players making a good Top 10 (if not championship) run include Paula Creamer, Song-Hee Kim (both -5 T5), Jee Young Lee, Hee-Won Han, Laura Diaz, Sun Young Yoo and Meena Lee (-4 T7). Michelle Wie is currently T14 at -2 and only three shots out of fifth place (six out of third). Her quest for an ’09 Tour card is still alive. Annika Sorenstam and Nicole Castrale took big falls – 76 and 77 respectively – to T14.

Pak has put three fine rounds together so I think it’s possible she could catch Tseng. I can’t possibly count Ochoa out – although she’s six behind, she only has two players to catch. I’ll go out on a limb and say Hull isn’t going to win. But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s Yani’s tournament to lose. If she holds on, she has the Rookie of the Year award locked up.