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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:39 a.m., Saturday, August 5, 2006

Wie 11 back of new leader at British Open

Advertiser Staff

Honolulu teenager Michelle Wie fashioned an even-par 72 Saturday and is 11 shots back of a new leader after three rounds of the Women's British Open golf tournament at Lytham St. Annes, England.

Wie, 16, a senior at Punahou School, carded three birdies and three bogeys, and stood four strokes over par entering Sunday's final round on the 6,480-yard Royal Lytham & St. Annes golf course.

Wie had birdies on three par-4 holes — Nos. 4, 8 and 16 — while bogeying the par-3 No. 5, the par-5 No. 11 and the par-4 No. 14 holes.

Wie blamed her iron play for her failure to break par for the sixth round in a row in a major.

"I'm not making birdies," she said. "That's the bottom line. I'm playing well. My scores aren't coming through. It's very frustrating when I play. But I feel it's all going to come down tomorrow."

Wie said she was "definitely" disappointed about her scores on the four par-5 holes, where she recorded three pars and a bogey.

"I hit some good drives off the par 5s today, but I did not take advantage of them at all," she said. "That is very frustrating when you do that, but maybe I will just eagle all of them tomorrow."

Despite a good drive on No. 11, she pushed her 3-iron and ended up with a bogey.

"I just did not hit a very good chip," she said. "I did not hit a very good putt. I did not hit a good putt coming back and that happens."

Wie, who was assessed a two-stroke penalty in Friday's round, is tied for 32nd place with a 220 total. She has finished in the top five in all six of her LPGA events this year.

Tour veteran Juli Inkster, who led each of the first two rounds, shot a 2-over 74 and dropped into a second-place tie behind Sherri Steinhauer, another Tour veteran.

Steinhauer, 43, seeking her first victory since 2004, shot a 6-under 66 for a 209 total, vaulting her to a three-shot lead over Inkster, Lorena Ochoa, Sophie Gustafson and Karen Stupples.

Ochoa had the day's best round with a bogey-free 65. Gustafson shot 69 and Stupples 70.

Lpga.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.