Lorena Ochoa left her fellow golfers in an all-too-familiar position yesterday: trying to make up ground.
Ochoa shot a 7-under-par 65 in the third round of the Ginn Open in Reunion, Fla., moved to 16 under, and took a one-shot lead over rookie Yani Tseng in her quest for a fourth consecutive LPGA Tour victory.
"I just like the way I feel right now," Ochoa said. "I trust that my game is at a good level and I should be ready for anything."
Given the way she's played this year - Ochoa has won four of her five starts by a combined 34 shots - the final 18 holes seem like a mere formality.
Carin Koch, who kept pace with Ochoa most of the day before a bogey-double bogey finish dropped her six shots back, said she would be surprised if anyone caught Ochoa.
"She'd have to have a really bad day, which is hard to imagine the way she's playing," Koch said.
All of Ochoa's wins in 2008 came after she led at the end of the third round, and she's won 15 of 22 times when having at least a share of the top spot heading into the final day. Then again, Ochoa squandered a lead at the Ginn last year, going 6 over on the final six holes.
"You always learn the hard way," Ochoa said. "Hopefully, we write a different story."
Ochoa started the third round three shots behind Tseng and was four back after a bogey on No. 2. But the world's No. 1 player made three consecutive birdies beginning with the par-5 ninth and took the lead for good with a near-perfect approach shot on No. 11.
She missed birdie putts on the next three holes, but she closed with birdies on 15 and 18, pumping her right fist after each putt.
Tseng birdied two of her final three holes for a 69.
PGA - Defending champion Boo Weekley continued his remarkable run at Harbour Town Golf Links, using a stretch of five straight birdies to move in front after three rounds of the
Weekley shot a 6-under 65 to reach 15 under and move three strokes ahead of Anthony Kim (67) and five in front of Aaron Baddeley (67), Jason Bohn (67), and Cliff Kresge (68). Second-round leader Lucas Glover shot a 73 to drop seven shots back.
Champions - At Lutz, Fla., Mark Wiebe fired a 6-under 65 in the second round of the
European/Asian - Damien McGrane (4-under 68) has a three-shot lead after the third round of the China Open in Beijing.