Honolulu’s Michelle Wie struggled early on in today’s third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand with three bogeys over her opening six holes but battled back to within one shot of leader Yani Tseng (70—207).
In the final pairing with first- and second-round leader I.K. Kim, Wie shot a 1-under 71 thanks in part to back-to-back birdies on the closing holes at the Siam Country Club course in Chonburi, Thailand, and is tied for second with Kim (71) at 8-under 208.
Playing one group in front of Wie and Kim, Tseng had a roller-coaster ride of her own, overcoming a double-bogey six at the par-4 second and three bogeys with five birdies and an eagle at the par-5 closing hole to grab the lead outright at 9 under for the tournament.
Wie and Kim are one shot clear of American Paula Creamer (70—209) in this tightly bunched group of quality players. Tseng is ranked No. 1 in the world with Kim coming in at No. 7, Creamer No. 10 and Wie No. 11.
Wie will be in the final pairing with Tseng. They have been in that situation before with Tseng holding off Wie down the stretch to capture an LPGA event in Arkansas last year.
Wie carded four bogeys and five birdies today, but didn’t let things get out of hand as the Punahou School graduate dropped to as low as 4 under for the tournament.
“On the front nine, I putted horribly,” Wie said after her round. “I couldn’t make a single thing. But on the back nine, I got myself together. It was hot out there and you have to focus because you find yourself getting tired. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get started off good, make some birdies and learn from my mistakes.”
Former world No. 1 Karrie Webb is alone in fifth at 6-under 210. The Australian is only three shots off the pace after shooting a solid 68.