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Korean must wait to win U.S. Open

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hee Kyung Seo sat in first at the U.S. Women's Open on Sunday. But the South Korean had not won her first major yet as play was suspended because of darkness.

Because of weather delays, players went 36 holes at the Broadmoor. (A delay Sunday lasted 2 hours, 37 minutes.)

Seo shot two 3-under 68s and was at 3-under 281. Of the 28 still on the course, only three have a realistic chance to catch her today (10 a.m., ESPN2):

• So Yeon Ryu was one back with three holes left.

• Cristie Kerr was two back with two holes to play.

• Angela Stanford was three back with four holes left.

Seo's final round included four straight birdies on the front nine.

"I just trusted myself and just let it go," she said.

But she scrambled through the back nine. She saved par with a tricky 5-foot putt at No. 11; from an awkward stance above a greenside bunker at No. 13 and after a drive into the deep rough at No. 15. In addition, she missed a 3-foot par putt at No. 17 but said she would sleep fine.

"I can sleep very well," she said. "So I don't worry about that."

Ryu, who shot a third-round 69, said she's confident of being able to catch Seo.

"Right now, it's kind of breezy out there," she said. "(Today), it might be good weather and the greens might be soft. So it's good for me."

Kerr, a two-time major winner, also isn't conceding anything. She was getting ready to do an interview when she saw Seo hugging friends and family.

"The tournament is not decided yet," said Kerr, who shot a third-round 69. "I think she's over there celebrating. We all have a chance. I'm going to go out and swing for the fences and hopefully tie it up."

Stanford shot a third-round 70. Mika Miyazato, who led entering the day, was 3 over after 13 holes.

Stricker wins again

SILVIS, Ill. — Steve Stricker made a 25-foot putt from off the 18th green to win the PGA's John Deere Classic. Stricker, the third-round leader, is the 17th player to win an event three straight years.

He led by five at the turn, fell behind Kyle Stanley with bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 then birdied Nos. 17 and 18 to shoot 2-under 69 and 22-under 262. Stanley, a rookie, led by one after a par at No. 17 despite sending his tee shot into a grove of trees. But he missed a 9-footer for par at No. 18 to shoot 66 and open the door for Stricker.

Stricker credited his caddie, Jimmy Johnson.

"Jimmy was right there telling me the whole time, 'You know, it's not over yet. Just keep plugging. You never know what's going to happen,' " he said.

"And sure enough, he was right. Just play it all the way out and see what happens."

Stanley, 23, however, did earn a spot in the British Open by being the top finisher among those not already qualified.

Champions: Jeff Sluman shot 2-under 70 and overcame bogeys at Nos. 10 and 15 to win the First Tee Open in Pebble Beach, Calif. Sluman had five birdies and closed with three pars to finish at 10-under 206. It was his first win since winning this tournament in 2009. Jay Haas entered the final round with a two-stroke lead but shot 75 to finish tied for second, two back, with David Eger (72) and Brad Bryant (73).

No Monty at British: Colin Montgomerie will not compete at the British Open, which starts Thursday, for the first time since 1989. Because he was not among the top 50 in the world rankings on May 30 and doesn't qualify for other exemptions, Montgomerie had to finish among the top five at this weekend's Scottish Open. He shared the lead Sunday after birdie at No. 6. But three bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine left him tied for 31st.

Korean must wait to win U.S. Open 07/11/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2011 1:13am]

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