Kane Passes Mallon For Lead


TUCSON, Ariz. -- Lorie Kane posted a 5-under 65 on Saturday to grab the lead after three rounds of the Welch's/Fry's Championship at Dell Urich Golf Course. She stands at 18-under-par 192 and owns a one-shot lead over LPGA Tour rookie Christina Kim with one round to play.
Kane got herself into the LPGA Tour's record book on Saturday. Her three-day total score of 192 established a new LPGA Tour record for lowest raw score after 54 holes.
Meg Mallon, who posted the second-lowest score in tour history on Friday with a 10-under-par 60, was 10 shots higher on Saturday. She held a commanding lead in the third round but three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on her back nine dropped her to an even-par 70 and a share of third place with Wendy Doolan. The pair is notched at 16-under-par 194.
Kane, who held the first-round lead, trailed by three shots around the turn as both her and Mallon collected two birdies each on the front nine. Mallon birdied No. 10 to open a four-shot edge but a combination of birdies by Kane and mistakes by Mallon brought Kane into first.
Kane drained a 10-foot birdie at 11 and chipped to a foot to set up birdie at the par-5 13th. Winds arrived later on the back nine and seemed to impact Mallon more than Kane.
Mallon drove into the rough at 13 and struggled to reach the green in regulation. She had three feet for par but pushed the putt left. Things got worse for Mallon as her four-shot lead was down to one when she got to the 14th tee.
Mallon found the fairway off the tee but blew a 7-wood through the green at No. 14. She pitched her second eight feet past the hole and missed the par save, tying her with Kane, but not for long.
Kane hit her approach to five feet at the 15th and rolled home the putt to take the one-shot lead at 18-under par. Mallon parred the 15th to stay one back but missed a three-footer to save par at 16.
Kane had good looks at birdie on the final three holes. She missed a 30-footer right of the hole at 16, lipped out from six feet at 17 and came up short on 18.
'It does get a little bit frustrating when you work each day thinking the greens are going to be faster and faster and they end up slowing down,' said Kane, who smashed the 54-hole record for this tournament by eight shots. 'We haven't seen much wind here on this golf course over the last two days. It was a little bit funky on some iron shots into greens.'
Kane has held the lead with one round to go six times on tour but only once visited the winner's circle on Sunday.
'I'm very comfortable,' said Kane, who hit every fairway and 17 of 18 greens in regulation on Saturday. 'I'm going out with one mission in mind tomorrow and that's to win this golf tournament.'
Mallon went from three ahead at the start of Saturday's round to two behind but the 39-year-old remains optimistic.
'It felt like 20 shots more the way it was going,' said Mallon, referring to the difference in her historic round of Friday and Saturday's even-par round. 'I didn't hurt myself at least. I'm still in the tournament and I still have a chance tomorrow.'
While Kane and Mallon were battling, Kim came from behind to sneak into second. Kim, who turned 19 years old on Saturday, collected eight birdies in the third round with none from longer than eight feet.
Kim, who earned her spot on the LPGA Tour thanks to finishing second on the Futures Tour money list in 2002, realizes that despite her lack of experience, she can compete with the top women in the sport.
'After the first round, looking at the scores, I thought, 'Hey, I can do this,'' said Kim, who shot a 6-under 64 in Thursday's opening round. 'I can go low because I have the capabilities.'
Grace Park (68), Brandie Burton (66) and Young Kim (69) share fifth place at minus-14. Yu Ping Lin and Betsy King are tied for eighth at 13-under par, followed by A.J. Eathorne, who is alone in 10th at minus-12.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Welch's Fry's Championship
  • Full coverage of the Welch's Fry's Championship