GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP)—Michelle Wie moved into position for her first LPGATour victory, shooting a 2-under 70 on Saturday in the Lorena Ochoa Invitationalfor a share of the third-round lead with Cristie Kerr.
“I’m really excited for tomorrow,” Wie said. “Hopefully, I can go out andwin.
“I think I’m just going to play the same way I’ve always played and go outthere and try my hardest and try not to make any expectations of myself. Just goout there like it’s another day and try to play as hard as I can and try not tomake any bogeys.”Lorena Ochoa ,from Mexico, cat…
AP - Nov 14, 8:06 pm EST
Kerr had a 67 to match Wie at 10 under on the Guadalajara Country Clubcourse.
Second-round leader Jiyai Shin (74) was a stroke back along with PaulaCreamer (71) and first-round leader Song-Hee Kim (70).
The top-ranked Ochoa (72) was six strokes behind at 4 under.
The 20-year-old Wie has a share of the lead going into the final round forthe second time this season. She was tied for the lead in February in the SBSOpen in Hawaii, but ended up three strokes behind winner Angela Stanford.
“I don’t want to talk about what happened then,” Wie said. “It’sunfortunate. All I want to think about is tomorrow and how I’m going to playtomorrow.”
Kerr won earlier this season, taking the Michelob Ultra Open.
Shin had a difficult day with three bogeys on the back nine. The SouthKorean has already won the rookie of the year award—ahead of Wie—and couldclinch the player of the year trophy if she wins Sunday. Ochoa has won thataward three straight years.
Kerr reached 10 under with an eagle on 16.
Wie opened with two straight birdies—a 10-footer on the first and a30-footer on the second. A 3-foot birdie putt on 13 put her in a three-way tiewith Shin and Creamer at 11 under. After that it was holding on. Wie dropped onemore shot before the round was over, but Shin and Creamer each dropped two.
Wie and Creamer are clearly the peoples’ choice behind hometown star Ochoa.
“We could hear them chanting—like singing off and on,” Wie said. “Itwas kind of cool. They were just really riled up and they are really excited tobe here. Which makes us really happy to play in front of them.”
Kerr, a 12-time winner on the LPGA Tour, saw her round turn on the 16th whenshe holed a 9-iron approach from 137 yards for an eagle to get to 10 under. Shethen saved par on the final two holes.
“I said to my caddie, today is moving day and that’s what I did,” Kerrsaid. “I moved into position and I’m excited to be here. This is what TigerWoods does every week. This is where he wants to be and this is what I want tobe.”
Second-round leader Shin slipped with three bogeys on the back nine—andtwo on the final three holes. She entered the round with a three-stroke lead,and if she wins Sunday, could claim the player of the year award. Ochoa has wonthe last three.
Shin, a three-time winner this year, has already won the rookie of the yearaward, and also is the season’s top money winner. Nancy Lopez is the only playerto win both the rookie and player awards in the same season, accomplishing thefeat in 1978.
“Every player in four rounds—one will be really hard and today was my badday,” Shin said. “Tomorrow I think I should make a comeback.”
Kim is also looking for her first tour win.
“I have had a lot of chances to win this year,” she said. “I mean, I’mreally excited to play tomorrow.”
Creamer is an eight-time winner, but she’s winless this season battlingyear-long stomach problems combined with a back and thumb injury. The stomachproblems began a year ago after this tournament.
She was upbeat despite three bogeys over the last four holes.
“I played well all day, it was just unfortunate the last four holes,” shesaid. “I’m ready to go. I want to go out there and play. I haven’t been in thissituation for quite some time.”