Kerr Ochoa Tied on Top


04 Michelob Ultra Light OpenWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Cristie Kerr posted a 1-under 70 on Saturday to join Lorena Ochoa atop the leaderboard of the Michelob Ultra Open. Ochoa, who shot a 68, and Kerr are knotted at 7-under-par 206 at the River Course at Kingsmill Golf Club.
Kerr and Ochoa will try to avenge their second-place showing last year. The two shared runner-up honors with Karrie Webb behind Grace Park, who won this year's Nabisco Championship.
Christina Kim managed a 2-over 73 and is alone in third place at 5-under-par 208. Overnight leader Kim Williams struggled badly on Saturday with a 7-over 78 and shares fourth place with Jennifer Rosales, who posted a 73. That duo stands at minus-4.
Heavy winds greeted the players on Saturday and the scoring reflected it. Only five of the 76 players who made the cut broke par, with an additional four shooting 71 on the number.
Michelle Wie, the 14-year-old amateur sensation, shot a 2-over 73 and is part of a group tied for 16th at 1-under-par 212.
'If you just keep on making pars, you just keep on moving up and you don't have to shoot a ridiculous number just to catch the leader,' said Wie, referring to the conditions on Saturday. 'I could have been more in the hunt for tomorrow. I just missed a couple of opportunities.'
Kerr was able to weather the difficult conditions on her front nine Saturday. She broke into red figures at the par-3 fifth when she knocked a 5-iron to 20 feet and sank the putt.
She made a 25-footer for birdie from off the green at the seventh, then hit a 9-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the ninth.
But like everyone else in the field, Kerr came back.
Kerr hit a poor 9-iron to the 11th green but could not get down in two putts. After the bogey at the 11th, Kerr made six consecutive pars and was alone in first at 8-under par.
At the 18th, Kerr thought she hit a great drive but the ball kept drawing and landed in the water. She took a drop, then hit a 6-iron pin-high, but left. Kerr missed her par save but holed the clutch 6-footer for bogey and a share of the lead with one round to play.
'My back nine, I felt like I played better than the score indicated,' said Kerr. 'I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in, a couple of misreads. I felt like I could have shot about 1 under on the back nine, but in this case I didn't. So this is where I am.'
Ochoa also took advantage of the better conditions on the front side. She hit a 4-iron to 3 feet for the short birdie putt at the second, then sank an 8-footer for birdie at the fifth. Ochoa nearly made an eagle putt at No. 7 but settled for birdie.
On the back nine, Ochoa missed the green at the 10th, then missed a 6-footer for par. She tallied back-to-back birdies from the 13th, but missed the green and a short par putt at the 16th.
Perhaps the most remarkable shot of the day for Ochoa came at the 18th. She hit a recovery club into a bunker short and right of the green then blasted out to 40 feet. Ochoa drained the long par putt to set the clubhouse pace at minus-7.
'I did nothing exceptional, actually I missed a lot of fairways, I guess I made like five up-and-downs,' said Ochoa, a former college star seeking her first win in two years on the LPGA Tour. 'I was trying to be very patient, be positive, the course was tough for everybody, I knew that.'
Se Ri Pak (69), Juli Inkster (71) and Wendy Doolan (72) share sixth place at minus-3.
Annika Sorenstam (71), Angela Stanford (69), Pat Hurst (71), Michele Redman (72), Helen Alfredsson (72), Stacy Prammanasudh (73) and Soo-Yun Kang (76) are tied for ninth at 2-under-par 211.
Park shot a 72 on Saturday and is part of a group tied for 21st at even-par 213.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Michelob Ultra Open
  • Full Coverage - Michelob Ultra Open