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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 5, 2009

Second 81 drops Wie to last in Kraft Nabisco

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Hawai'i's Michelle Wie had a tough third round at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, shooting a 9-over 81.

CHRIS CARLSON | Associated Press

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Honolulu's Michelle Wie continued to struggle, dropping to the bottom of the leaderboard with her second consecutive 9-over-par 81 yesterday in the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the season.

Wie finished at 17-over 233 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. before the leaders even teed off.

Kristy McPherson shot a steady if not spectacular 2-under 70 on a hot, calm day to take sole possession of the lead at 8-under 208.

Cristie Kerr was one shot behind McPherson while Brittany Lincicome was two back. They also shot 70s on a day when tough pin placements made for fewer birdies.

McPherson will be seeking her first LPGA Tour win.

To have a shot at it in a major "makes it all the better," she said. "I don't try to think too much, but I haven't had that whole major feeling this week, which is good. It has allowed me not to have too many nerves."

For the second consecutive day, Wie had three double bogeys. She also had four bogeys and just one birdie. Her double bogeys were on the par-4 No. 1, par-3 No. 5 and par-3 No. 14. Her bogeys came on the par-5 No. 2, par-4 No. 4, par-4 No. 15 and par-4 No. 16. Wie's only birdie came at the par-5 No. 9.

Wie began the day at 8-over 152, which was the cutline for the weekend. She is playing in her 50th LPGA tournament, and third since becoming a tour member.

On Friday, McPherson and Christina Kim teed off before strong winds raked the Coachella Valley and jumped into a tie for the lead.

Kim faltered in the third round yesterday with a 75 and was five shots back. Jimin Kang and Lindsey Wright both shot 71 and were four shots back at 212.

HOUSTON OPEN

VAN PELT LEADS WAY

HUMBLE, Texas Bo Van Pelt moved to 11-under par to take a one-shot lead through eight holes of his third round at the Shell Houston Open just before play was suspended yesterday because of darkness.

Fred Couples, Paul Casey, Colt Knost and Tommy Armour III were all at 10-under when the horns sounded. They will resume the round early this morning, then tee off for the final 18.

"I'm glad we stopped right there," Couples said. "It's a good thing, because we're going to play a lot of holes (today). If I play well, that will be a good thing."

Van Pelt, winless in eight-plus years on the PGA Tour, shot a 67 in the second round, then birdied three of the first seven holes in his third round.

Knost, playing with Van Pelt, was leading at 11 under until a three-putt bogey at the par-5 eight. Van Pelt hit a pitch to 3 feet and sank the birdie putt to switch places with Knost and take the outright lead.

Punahou alum Parker McLachlin (73146) and Kamehameha alum Keoke Cotner (78155) both missed the cutoff score of 143.

ESTORIL OPEN

BROADHURST RALLIES

CASCAIS, Portugal Paul Broadhurst of England shot a 4-under 67 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Estoril Open.

After two bogeys on the first three holes, the former Ryder Cup player had six birdies on the last 13 to finish at 7-under 206. He is trying to win the tournament for the third time in five years.

Jamie Donaldson of Wales (67), England's David Lynn (65) and Maarten Lafeber of the Netherlands (64) were one shot back at the Oitavos Dunes course.

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