Creamer in charge at Oakmont
Paula Creamer will resume her third round at the 65th US Women’s Open on Sunday with a solid three-stroke lead.
Paula Creamer will resume her third round at the 65th US Women’s Open onn Sunday with a three-stroke lead over fellow American Wendy Ward after a long, long day at Oakmont.
Creamer and Sakura Yokomine of Japan had shared a one-shot lead at level par over American duo Brittany Lang, the first-round leader, and world number one Cristie Kerr going into the final 36 holes after the rain-delayed second round was finally concluded in Pennsylvania.
Creamer, 23, had been one of only two players to shoot an under-par round, her one-under 70 matching the score of another American, Stacy Lewis, on Friday before a heavy downpour deluged the famous course near Pittsburgh.
By the time play was suspended for the day due to darkness, Creamer was out in front on her own, one under for her third round after 13 holes and one under for the championship having birdied the 12th and bogeyed the 13th.
Ward, 37, was also one under for her third round with one hole to play, two over for the week and a shot ahead of Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who was one over for the day after 14 holes when the horn sounded to bring the players in.
Lang had reached the 14th in three over to slip to four over and into a tie for fourth with South Korea’s Amy Yang, one over after 15, and 15-year-old Alexis Thompson, the American Curtis Cup star who turned professional last month and had completed just the sixth under-par round of the tournament by shooting a 70.
Thompson book-ended her round with bogeys at the first and 18th holes but three birdies helped the teenager to her 70 and the clubhouse lead.
“I felt I played pretty consistent,” Thompson said. “I was trying to trust my swing and not steering it around the course, like I sometimes do when I get a little nervous.
“It just went really well for me. I just hit fairway and greens and just two-putted, which is really good out here.
“I had a lot of fun with my group, too. I’m really thankful that I don’t have to come back at 7:30 to finish a hole.”
World number one Kerr, who had won last month’s LPGA Championship, the second major of the year, by 12 strokes, had been looking set for a shot at back-to-back major success after rounds of 72 and 71 but she suffered a setback in her third round, closing the day five over for her round after 13 holes at six over.
That tied her for 11th place with, amongst others, halfway co-leader Yokomine, six over after 13, and Lewis, three over after 15. Also on six over was Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, four over after 14 holes and Australia’s Karrie Webb, in the clubhouse with a 73.
Spain’s 22-year-old Azahara Munoz shot a third-round 71 to move to seven over, while Scotland’s Mhairi McKay and England’s Karen Stupples carded 76s to close at 12 and 13 over respectively.
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