Stupples Leads by Three


2004 Jamie Farr Owens ClassicSYLVANIA, Ohio -- Karen Stupples posted a 3-under 68 on Saturday to regain the lead after the third round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Stupples's 54-hole total of 8-under-par 205 left her three shots clear of Marilyn Lovander.
Meg Mallon, who shared the overnight lead with Angela Jerman, struggled to a 74 to finish alongside Jeong Jang at 4-under-par 209. Defending champion Se Ri Pak followed at 3-under-par 210. She was joined by Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Lorie Kane, Brandie Burton, Nancy Scranton and Leta Lindley in a tie for fifth.
Fresh off her first major title in front of the hometown fans last week at the Women's British Open, Stupples came out to Highland Meadows Golf Club on Thursday and took the opening-round lead with a 65. She had somewhat of a letdown in the second round, but the Englishwoman was back in form on Saturday to retake the lead.
'I feel like my game is at a totally different level now than it was at this time last year, even after winning my first tournament in Tucson, I feel like I made a big step,' said Stupples. 'Winning a major, especially for me, winning the British Open is something I have always dreamed of.'
Stupples parred her first two holes before picking up her first birdie of the day at the par-4 third. She ran off another string of pars until her second shot to the ninth stopped within 20 feet of the hole for another birdie.
The 31-year-old had several scoring opportunities on the inward half, but was unable to convert on multiple occasions. She left her birdie putt short at the 12th and was unable to find the bottom of the cup at the par-4 13th after he approach landed inside 8 feet.
Stupples knocked her second shot to 6 feet at the 15th, but again was unable to walk away with birdie. She seemed to be letting another scoring chance slip away at the par-5 17th, but Stupples drained a 12-foot putt for her third birdie of the day to hold a solid edge in search of her third victory of the season.
'The way I'm playing, I feel like I have so much confidence right now,' said Stupples. 'I don't have to take on stupid shots. I don't have to be outrageous on the course. I can play my game and it will be enough, which is a wonderful feeling to have.'
Lovander, a veteran who has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, made a move on Saturday with three straight birdies starting at the par-3 sixth. She missed the putting surface at the 11th, but putted from off the green to grab a share of the lead at 7 under.
The 49-year-old stumbled with back-to-back bogeys from the 16th, but remains in position for her best career finish on the LPGA Tour.
'You just never give up out here,' said Lovander. 'I have been improving every year, so I am still playing.'
Mallon, who earned her second U.S. Women's Open title last month, was steady early with a birdie at the second, but she gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth. She found trouble again with a bogey at the ninth and sent her second shot through the green at the par-4 11th.
Mallon was unable to save par and a bogey at the 16th left her four shots off the pace.
Jerman, a rookie on the LPGA Tour last year, struggled with a round of 78 to fall back into a group at even-par 213.
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