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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wie moving closer to Sybase Classic lead


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Michelle Wie moved into contention at the LPGA's Sybase Classic with a 69 yesterday, a round that could have been even better except for four missed putts of 4 feet or less.

RICH SCHULTZ | Associated Press

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CLIFTON, N.J. Suzann Pettersen and Ji Young Oh seemingly won't have to worry about three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa making a run at them in the final round of the Sybase Classic.

There are plenty of other challengers though, including recent major winner Brittany Lincicome, eight-time LPGA winner Paul Creamer and probably the most famous non-winner on tour, 19-year-old Michelle Wie.

Pettersen of Norway and Oh of South Korea shot 3-under 69s yesterday, taking a one-stroke lead over Lincicome after three rounds of the $2 million event that seemingly will have a new champion with Ochoa 10 shots back heading into the final round on the Upper Montclair Country Club.

The biggest story would be Wie winning her first title since the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003. She turned pro in 2006 but that first win has eluded her.

The Punahou School alum and Stanford sophomore finished second in Hawai'i earlier this year after blowing a three-stroke lead with eight holes to go.

"It would mean a lot," Wie said after matching Creamer's 69 to move three shots behind the leaders. "I always think about it, you know, how that old Nationwide Tour commercial with the guy holding the little (coffee) creamer thing, that's basically how I feel. I'm just basically going to go out there and try my hardest and have fun like I had the last few days and see where it takes me."

If Wie is going to win, she will have to putt better. She missed seven putts of 10 feet or less in the second round and she missed four of 4 feet or less yesterday.

"I'm a pretty good putter, just want to send the ball home," Wie said. "But it will go home tomorrow; I'll make it."

ELSEWHERE

Texas Open: Defending champion Zach Johnson matched the La Cantera course record with a 10-under 60 yesterday to take a three-stroke lead in the suspended third round of the rain-soaked Texas Open at San Antonio.

Paul Goydos and three-time champion Justin Leonard endured a five-hour rain delay and were 12 under through 12 holes. They along with the 12 others who didn't finish will resume the round this morning.

Regions Charity Classic: Gene Jones and Keith Fergus were in the lead at 10 under when play was suspended by rain in the second round of the Regions Charity Classic at Hoover, Ala.

Rain halted play for 3 1/2 hours in the morning. It was suspended in the evening after Jones was 7 under through 14 holes. Fergus had finished the front nine in 4 under to join him atop the leaderboard at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge.

Irish Open: Irish amateur Shane Lowry, 22, bogeyed the final hole for a 1-under 71 to fall into a tie for the lead with England's Robert Rock (69) after three rounds of the Irish Open at Baltray, Ireland.

Lowry three-putted the par-5 18th and is at 16-under 200 entering the final round.

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