Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cristie Kerr leads by two strokes going into final round of U.S. Women's Open

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Cristie Kerr is feeling a sense of calm only a former U.S. Women's Open champion could understand.

Armed with the knowledge of what it takes to win the champion­ship, the 2007 winner is set to make a push for another title.

Kerr scrambled to shoot 1-over 72 Saturday, pulled away from struggling playing partner Paula Creamer and built a two-shot lead over Eun Hee Ji after three rounds of the Open.

Kerr was the only sub-par player — 2-under 211 — after three rounds on the narrow fairways and speedy, undulating greens of Saucon Valley Country Club.

Now Kerr, who won at Pine Needles in North Carolina in '07, is in position to claim her second title in three years. She's looking forward to the fourth-round challenge of keeping her lead.

"There really isn't a better place for me," the 12-time LPGA Tour winner said after two birdies and three bogeys. "I love this golf course. I feel good. I'm sure there's going to be some nerves in the morning. But I've been there. I know I can handle it."

Jean Reynolds moved up to become an unlikely challenger. The 24-year-old from Georgia, who has two wins this year on the developmental Futures Tour, started two strokes back and was one off the lead before stumbling with bogeys on Nos. 15, 17 and 18. She shot 74 and was was tied for third at 215 with Teresa Lu (70).

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 2-over 73 and was tied with two others at 4-over 217.

A handful of players took advantage of the USGA's move to shorten the distance of a number of holes to raise the risk-reward factor.

Ji, 23, took advantage. She offset three bogeys with four birdies for 1-under 70 and par 213 total to earn a spot in the final group with Kerr on the last day in just her second Open.

"Every time I looked up at the leaderboard and see my name up there, it kind of gives me the excitement," Ji, of South Korea, said through an interpreter. "It makes me a little nervous but in a good way where you can maybe compete a little harder."

Others weren't so lucky at the Open, the LPGA Tour's third major of the season, namely Creamer.

She paired with second-round leader Kerr, but fell from contention quickly. She had three bogeys on the front nine, triple bogey at 10 and bogey at 11. She was at 219, tied for 17th, after shooting 79.

Creamer tried to get back into contention at No. 10, where the USGA used a front tee to make a drivable par-4. She took a chance, drove into a bunker, blasted over the green, then chipped short on the way to 7.

"It was unfortunate. I just didn't have anything really going," Creamer said.

Kerr has said all week that she knows what it takes at the Open, especially after winning her first two years ago.

"I still have to play strategically smart, which is what I've done the last four days," she said.

Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (77) and 14-year-old amateur Alexis Thompson (78) of Coral Springs were in a five-way tie for 26th at 222. Lorena Ochoa (73—221) was tied for 27th.

Cristie Kerr leads by two strokes going into final round of U.S. Women's Open 07/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 11, 2009 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)