SOUTHPORT, England » Yani Tseng shot her third straight 4-under 68 yesterday, and will take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Women’s British Open.
The 21-year-old star from Taiwan took advantage of the short, 472-yard, par-5 final hole by hitting an 8-iron to within 20 feet with her second shot. She rolled in the eagle putt to finish off her round, doubling her cushion over Australian Katherine Hull.
"I played really well again," said Tseng, who is at 12 under and has just one bogey through 54 holes. "I really enjoyed the big crowd out there. They clap on every shot and I showed them my big smile all the way around."
She is trying to win her third major. She captured the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in 2008 and won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
Hull played a flawless third round, including five straight birdies to finish with a 66.
"A great way to finish. I’ll always remember this round," Hull said.
The Australian made only one birdie on the way out, at the long sixth, when she hit a pitching wedge to within 3 feet. Four straight pars on the back nine followed, before a 5-iron to within 6 feet on the short 14th started her run of birdies.
She followed with a gap wedge to within 12 feet for birdie at No. 15, and a 5-iron to 20 feet the following hole. She got up and down out of a bunker at 17, then two-putted from the back of the green for another birdie on the short, par-5 finishing hole.
"I really love links golf. I just wish we played more," Hull said. "I played pretty well all day and got a hot putter at the end.
Punahou graduate Michelle Wie shot a 71 and is 13 strokes back at 217.
South Korean In-Kyung Kim moved into third place at 6 under with a 68.
Birdies at the last two holes moved American Brittany Lincicome into fourth place at 5 under, and there were five players another stroke back.
Cristie Kerr’s even-par 72 put her alongside fellow American Christina Kim, after Kim finished birdie-eagle on the closing holes. Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, South Korea’s Hee-Kyung Seo and Japan’s Momoko Ueda also are in the group at 4 under.
Earlier, American Morgan Pressel equaled the course record with a 7-under 65 to move to 3 under for the tournament. She dropped shots at the first two holes before making eight birdies and an eagle against one more bogey on her way in.
"I just made a lot of putts today and put myself right back in the tournament," Pressel said. "Some days it goes well and this was one of those days."