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Kung snaps birdie-less streak

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – It took her almost 2-1/2 rounds of golf, but Candie Kung finally got her first birdie on Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open.  Kung, who had a string of 22 consecutive pars spanning the first and second rounds, birdied the par-5 sixth hole for her first birdie in 42 holes at Saucon Valley Country Club.

She wasted little time getting No. 2, making birdie on the next hole, the par-4 seventh, and added three more birdies on the back nine to shoot a 3-under-par 68, the low round of the day so far.

“We [my caddie and I] were wondering if we’d be part of history, the longest tournament without a birdie,” said Kung, who at 3 over par was just five shots back of leader Cristie Kerr as the third round wound down. “It was a good putt there [about 18 feet]. It was just right dead-center in the middle.”

Kung, winless on the LPGA Tour since capturing three titles in 2003, has two top-10 finishes in her last five U.S. Open appearances. She’ll draw on that experience tomorrow as she tries to come from behind and win her fourth LPGA title.

“Par could win the tournament,” said Kung. “Hit it in the fairway, hit it in the middle of the green, two-putt, out of there. If I have a chance for birdie, I have a chance for birdie.”