Sorenstam Webb Join Neumann


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- The defending champion Annika Sorenstam and past champion Karrie Webb join Liselotte Neumann at 4-under-par 212 as co-leaders after the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Sorenstam shot 1-under 71 Saturday, while Neumann recorded a 73. Webb had the best round of the three, shooting 5-under-par 67.
Once again, conditions were perfect for the first major championship of the season and it was no great surprise to see both Sorenstam and Webb creep up the leaderboard. Second-round leader Neumann blew a two shot lead by the eighth hole.
It was then that Sorenstam pounced.
The fiercely competitive Swede made the turn, tied with Neumann at 3-under, and never looked back. A birdie on the par-4 10th and again on the par-5 11th left Sorenstam the outright leader midway through the day.
Neumann spent the first 10 holes of the day throwing away the lead, with bogey after bogey, and spent the final three making it up. A birdie on the par-4 16th and again on the last rectified the damage done earlier in the day.
Oh, my God. Im done, she said just after walking off the 18th green. It was a struggle today, especially off the tee. I think I was spending more time with the crowd than I was inside the ropes today.
Finally figured it out in the end and actually started playing some good golf coming in.
The secret to many success stories Saturday was on the greens. The only difference, really from yesterday to today, was that I made a couple more putts, Webb said.
Sorenstam also had an easier time of it: I do think I read the greens much better today.
Sorenstam and her caddie both had different sunglasses than on Friday. He didnt take them off all day, she said. That was a standing joke. I said, What does your shades say? It worked pretty good today. So I think hes going to wear them tomorrow, too.
Webb, who won this championship two years ago, recorded five birdies during her round. She made only one bogey, on the 385-yard par-4 12th. The Aussie missed the fairway left off the tee, and then launched her approach shot into the greenside bunker. She left herself a 10-foot putt, which she two-putted.
Before the round today, I knew that I needed to at least shoot in the 60s to have a chance tomorrow, Webb said. So I thought if I got to 2- or 3-under, four shots was not going to be that bad.
Webb is excited about playing with Sorenstam in the final group. I think Annika and I both bring the best out in one another, and the fact that ' well, I wanted to make sure I was in that last group. Just because I think part of being in the last group, playing with Annika will help me.
The last time the two were paired together in the final round was at the 2000 Evian Masters. Sorenstam defeated Webb in a one-hole playoff that year.
Webb birdied the final hole to move to 4-under. I really didnt want to be in the second-to-last group because I know I wanted to know what was going on in the last group.
Rosie Jones and Becky Iverson are just a stroke off the lead, tied for second at 3-under-par 213. Jones took it to 6-under during her round, but was unable to maintain her pace and dropped three strokes on the back nine.
Iverson was one of only a handful of players to make a big move up the leaderboard Saturday. Iverson joined the Tour in 1994. The Michigan native has one career victory - the 1995 Friendlys Classic, where she recorded a bogey-free, career-low round of 63 to win the title. A win this week would be nice, but its not a must for the laidback Iverson.
Tomorrow, I just want to have a good round and just play my own game and not worry about what anyone else is doing, Iverson said. I dont need to win to be happy.
Sorenstam's playing partner, amateur Lorena Ochoa, made birdie on the first to move to 1-under, and 17 holes later thats where she remained. Two birdies and a lone bogey completed her round of 71.
Lorena is the low amateur for the second day in a row. Im very impressed with her game, her attitude and what a nice girl she is, too, Sorenstam said. Even though shes an amateur, she sure doesnt behave like one.
News, Notes and Numbers
ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE: Lorie Kane made a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth from 160 yards with her 5-iron. It was only the second hole-in-one of the year.
PESKY CELL PHONES: Webb had a brief encounter with a spectator and her cell phone. I asked her how her beer tasted just to get her attention, but that didnt seem to do it.
At first I was irritated, I was just trying not to get too mad,' Webb said. And then she kept playing with her phone and I was like, You know what, can you just stop playing with that, please.'
DQ: Raquel Carriedo was disqualified following Fridays round for signing an incorrect scorecard. The Spaniard made a five on No. 10 but signed for a four. Her scores of 74-71-145 would have been good enough to make the cut.
Full-field scores from the Kraft Nabisco Championship