Se Ri Pak kept her mistakes to a minimum, finished with a 35-foot birdie putt, and now stands one round away from becoming the seventh woman to complete the career Grand Slam.
Lorena Ochoa made a whopper of a mistake that might cost her a chance to win her first major and move to No. 1 in the world.
The 25-year-old Mexican star whiffed a flop shot on her way to a quadruple bogey on the par-3 17th hole yesterday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., leaving Pak and Suzann Pettersen atop the leaderboard at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in a major no one seems to want to win.
Pak overcame some short-game gaffes over the closing holes with a birdie putt from the back of the green that dropped on its final turn, leaving her with a 2-under-par 70 and a chance to capture the last leg of her Grand Slam.
Pettersen chipped to 18 inches for a tap-in birdie on the 18th for a 71 that allowed her to join Pak at 4-under 212.
Paula Creamer had a wedge into the par-5 18th and walked off with a three-putt bogey for a 73 that put her one shot behind, along with Meaghan Francella (69). Big-hitting Brittany Lincicome eagled the final hole for a 71 and was another shot behind.
But the buzz came from Ochoa, for all the wrong reasons.
She was 3 under and one shot behind on the 17th when her 6-iron clipped a tree and her pitch to a back left pin went long into grass so deep she could barely see the ball. Trying to hit a flop shot, the club slid under the ball without moving it. Her fourth shot ran down the ridge some 45 feet away. Three putts later she had a 7 on her card and was no longer in the top 10.
Ochoa wound up with a 77 and was five shots behind.
"I was one behind, and suddenly I'm way back," Ochoa said. " I have nothing to lose. Hopefully, I'll put pressure on the leaders."
Pak, who has never finished higher than ninth in this major, got to 5 under with an approach that hit the flag and settled 2 feet away on the 13th to take the lead. Then came a couple of bogeys, electing to use her putter from short of the green on the 15th, and flubbing a chip over a hump in the fringe on the 17th that made her work for bogey. But she was all smiles leaving the 18th after her big birdie.
Pettersen managed a relatively quiet round, picking up birdies on two par 5s, limiting her mistakes to only the 13th when it took her four shots to reach the green during some adventures in the high grass.
Annika Sorenstam, meanwhile, turned into another face in the crowd. After her worst 36-hole start in a major since she was an amateur, the Swede teed off on the back nine, shot 71, and was 10 shots behind.
PGA -- At Humble, Texas, Johnson Wagner took advantage of a rain-softened course and calm conditions to shoot an 8-under 64 in the rain-delayed Houston Open.
Wagner was 11 under, four strokes behind Bubba Watson. The big-hitting Watson was 9 under through 15 holes and 15 under overall when play was suspended because of darkness. Watson is one of 27 players who will complete the round this morning.
Jeff Maggert, playing with Watson, was 12 under. Adam Scott and Paul Stankowski shot 65s just ahead of the suspension of play to match Wagner at 11 under.
Thunderstorms dumped 1 1/2 inches of rain on the Tournament Course at Redstone yesterday morning, postponing the start of the third round six hours.
Champions -- Keith Fergus moved into position for his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a bogey-free 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead in the Ginn Championship at Palm Coast, Fla.
Fergus, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied all four par 5s and parred the last four holes -- the most difficult test on the Hammock Beach course -- to finish at 10-under 134.
Brad Bryant, who shared the first-round lead with Fergus, shot a 68 to join Tom Purtzer (66) at 9 under. Mark O'Meara (67) and Joe Ozaki (68) were 8 under.
European -- Alexander Noren made six birdies and shot a 3-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Estoril Open in Cascais, Portugal.