Jang takes five-stroke lead into final round

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2005


  Michelle Wie of the US is silhouetted against the sky as she tees off on the first hole, on the third day of the Women's British Open golf tournament at the Royal Birkdale course near Southport, in north west England, Saturday, July 30, 2005. AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Michelle Wie of the US is silhouetted against the sky as she tees off on the first hole, on the third day of the Women's British Open golf tournament at the Royal Birkdale course near Southport, in north west England, Saturday, July 30, 2005.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

SOUTHPORT, England — Jeong Jang has played with Annika Sorenstam before — but never with this much at stake.

The South Korean will be paired with Sorenstam for the final round of the Women's British Open on Sunday, as she tries to protect a five-stroke lead and win the first tournament of her six-year LPGA career.

''I am going to be nervous but not because of being with Annika, just being the leader,'' said Jang, who shot a 3-under 69 Saturday to move to 13-under 203 for the tournament at Royal Birkdale.

''I will think about my golf, not think about Annika.''

But, like it or not, Sorenstam will be there, and she'll be trying for her third major title of the year and 10th overall. She made sure of that by shooting a third-round 66 and pulling into a tie for second with Cristie Kerr (69) at 8 under.

''We will see what happens,'' said the Swede, who hasn't had a bogey since the 13th hole in the opening round. ''There's a lot of golf holes out there left to be played and birdie opportunities. I am very happy with my round today and it was my best golf of the week.''

Sorenstam and Jang were paired together at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in June.

''Annika won that event,'' Jang said. ''I finished tied for fifth.''

Jang, who began the day with a four-stroke lead, provided a few chances for those chasing her to make up some ground. She bogeyed the opening hole before recovering with five birdies. She just missed another birdie on the 18th when her 10-foot putt stopped inches short of the cup.

She has the best score through 54 holes since the tournament became a major five years ago.

Behind Sorenstam and Kerr are five players at 7-under 209. One of them is Michelle Wie, the 15-year-old amateur who is playing her last tournament before returning to high school.

She posted her second 67 in a row after opening with a 75 in the wind and rain Thursday.

''I could have been a lot better but I'm happy with the way my score came out,'' said Wie, who had six birdies. ''I felt really good with my iron shots today. I just couldn't putt.''

Tied with Wie are Paula Creamer, the winner of last week's Evian Masters who had seven birdies in a flawless 65, Liselotte Neumann (68) and 2000 British Open champion Sophie Gustafson (67) of Sweden and another Korean, Young Kim (67).

With the sun shining for the first time and fans and players wearing short-sleeve shirts, there was some spectacular scoring by players far out of the lead.

Buick Open

GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Vijay Singh quickly turned a showdown between the world's top two golfers into a rout.

Singh started the third round of the Buick Open one stroke ahead of Tiger Woods, then birdied the first three holes while Woods bogeyed Nos. 2-4. Singh matched the tournament record of 7 under on the front nine and closed with a 63 Saturday, matching the event's 54-hole record of 22-under 194.

If Singh holds onto his five-shot lead he'll be the first three-time champion at the Buick Open, a tournament that started in 1958, and the first champion to repeat since Tony Lema in 1965.

Woods had three straight bogeys — falling seven strokes behind after four holes — before finishing 2 under for the round and 14 under for the tournament, eight shots behind Singh.

Zach Johnson (65) is at 17 under, alone in second place. Chris DiMarco (66) will begin Sunday's final round seven shots back.

U.S. Senior Open

KETTERING, Ohio — Craig Stadler made a spectacular bunker shot on the final hole and went on to make a birdie and move into a tie for the lead with Loren Roberts after three rounds of the U.S. Senior Open.

Stadler had pulled his drive into the bunker left of the fairway on the dogleg par-4, but was able to muscle 7-iron a shot out of the sand from 153 yards that ended up just 4 feet from the pin. He made the birdie putt to cap a 2-under 69.

Roberts also shot a 69 to share the top spot at 11-under 202, highlighting his round by spinning in a wedge at the 10th hole for an eagle.

The co-leaders were three shots clear of the field, with Raymond Floyd — winner of the last major event at NCR Country Club, the 1969 PGA Championship — at 205 along with D.A. Weibring. The 62-year-old Floyd turned back the clock with a 69 that included four birdies and two bogeys. Weibring had a 68.

Tom Watson had a double-bogey 7 at the sixth hole and finished with a 73, four shots off the pace and tied with Des Smyth (70).

Scandinavian Masters

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Bradley Dredge shot a 5-under 66 to maintain a share of the lead with Barry Lane after the third round at the Scandinavian Masters.

Dredge finished with a 5-under 66. Lane shot a 65 to drop to 18-under 195 entering the final round at the soggy Kungsangen Kings Course.

Henrik Stenson and Mark Hensby, who tied for fifth in the Masters in April and shared third in the U.S. Open, shot 64s to share third place at 16 under. Damien McGrane was another stroke back after a 64.

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