Eun-Hee Ji shot a 3-under 69 to take a one-shot lead over Karrie Webb after the third round of the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y., on Saturday.
Ji was 4 under after three rounds at the Locust Hill Country Club course. Webb had a 68, matching Ji for the best round of the event.
Ji, coming off her first top-10 in more than two years, was solid again off the tee on the unforgiving course, hitting 11 out of 14 fairways and reaching 11 out of 14 greens in regulation. That gave her an impressive total of 39 greens in regulation in 54 holes.
“I always trying hard,” said Ji, who captured the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open with a birdie putt on the final hole. “My confidence is going lower last year. I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m trying to be hopeful and just playing my game.”
Webb has seven major victories among her 37 wins. She last won a major in 2006 when she beat Lorena Ochoa in a sudden-death playoff that lasted one hole for her second Kraft Nabisco Championship title.
“I still get really excited for the majors and the importance they have on everyone’s career,” Webb said. “I probably want it more than I ever have in my career.”
Giulia Sergas, who shared the first-round lead, had a 69 and was tied at 2 under with Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen and Inbee Park.
Lewis, a two-time winner in her past three events, had a 70, Pettersen shot a 71, and Park had a 72.
LOVE III SHARES LEAD
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III shot his third consecutive 2-under 68 to join Nick O’Hern and John Merrick atop the leaderboard at the windy St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.
Love, who hasn’t won since 2008, had three birdies and one bogey to match O’Hern and Merrick at 6-under 204. O’Hern had a 67, and Merrick shot 69.
“Is it a big huge deal in my career that I have to win this week? No. But when you get up there at the top … the old feeling kicks in,” Love said.
Conditions got tougher Saturday as the greens firmed up at the TPC Southwind course along with the wind picking up throughout the day and gusting up to 23 mph at times.
Rory McIlroy, who will try to defend his U.S. Open title next week at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, had a one-stroke lead when he teed off. He shot a 2-over 72 to drop in a six-way tie at 5 under.
FEUTZ IN LEAD
Bellarmine Prep senior James Feutz leads the Capitol City men’s amateur tournament at Capitol City Golf Club in Lacey.
Feutz, who will play for UNLV, birdied three of his last four holes to finish with a 3-under 69 for a three-stroke lead over Ryan Earl heading into today’s final round.
“It was tough out there,” said Feutz, Class 4A state champion as a Bellarmine Prep sophomore in 2010.
Defending champion Tom Lehman shot a 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour major, in Birmingham, Ala. Lehman had a 10-under 206 total at Shoal Creek. Peter Senior (66), a playoff loser to Lehman last year, and Jeff Sluman (70) were tied for second. … England’s Lee Westwood won the Nordea Masters for the third time for his 22nd European Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory in Bro, Sweden. Westwood finished at 19-under 269.
TRACKING LOCAL GOLFERS
This week: FedEx St. Jude Classic, Thursday through today, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.
In the field: Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley and Tacoma’s Troy Kelly.
Stanley’s third-round score: 3-over-par 73.
Kelly’s third-round score: 4-over 74.
Position: Kelly (3-over 213) is tied for 57th, and Stanley (4-over 214) is tied for 66th – all trailing co-leaders Davis Love III, John Merrick and Nick O’Hern at 6-under 204.
Recap: There was a huge opportunity for Kelly at the start of the day – and he promptly began it with a double bogey on the opening hole after he hit his drive so far left, he had to take a penalty stroke. He finished his front nine with another double bogey – his fourth on that nine-hole stretch this week – after he hit his approach at No. 9 into the greenside pond. ... Stanley had a pair of early bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4, and never got going. He did birdie the par-3 eighth (chip-in from 20 feet) and 11th holes (9-iron tee shot to 5 feet of the hole).
Tee times TODAY: Kelly at 6:16 a.m. (PDT) off the 10th tee, and Stanley at 6:25 a.m. off the 10th firstname.lastname@example.org