Tseng eagle puts her back in front

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World No 1 Yani Tseng eagled the 18th to go one-shot clear after the third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

World No 1 Yani Tseng eagled the 18th to go one-shot clear after a third-round, two-under 70 at the Honda LPGA Thailand and put herself in line for her third straight win in as many weeks.

With her total on 9-under 207, she leads the USA’s Michelle Wie and South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim by one shot heading into Sunday’s final round at the Siam Country Club in Thailand.

The bubbly world No 1, who arrived at the LPGA Tour’s curtain-raiser on the back of two Ladies European Tour wins in Australia, stumbled early on when she double-bogeyed the second hole, but four birdies in six holes around the turn got her back on track.

The 22-year-old picked up another shot at 15 but then bogeyed the next two before a stunning approach to four feet at the last set up her crucial, closing eagle.

Tseng said her eagle is likely to live long in her memory.

“It was a very exciting finishing eagle, that’s for sure,” she told reporters afterwards.

“And it’s nice to have a one-shot lead over I.K. and Michelle. It was better for me today.

“I had a tough start with a double bogey on the second hole, but I had a good comeback and I stayed really patient today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“If I bogey a hole (on Sunday), I’ll birdie the next hole. Keep smiling and relax.

Wie also struggled on the front nine where at she dropped three shots in four holes, but she recovered impressively and birdied the last two holes to salvage a one-under 71.

Overnight leader Kim carded four bogeys on the outward half, but she got back into contention with three birdies over the final four holes.

Wie said: “On the front-nine, I putted horribly, couldn’t make a single thing, but on the back-nine I put myself together.

“It was hot out there and you have to focus because you find yourself getting tired. Tomorrow, hopefully I’ll get started off good, make birdies and learn from my mistakes.”

On her birdies at 17 and 18, Wie said, “Yes they were big. It was crucial. It felt good to make them.”

Paula Creamer moved into 4th place, two shots of the pace at seven-under with a 70 which featured three straight birdies from the 14th, while veteran Karrie Webb is a further shot adrift after an excellent five-birdie 68.

Creamer, who struggled for much of last season with a thumb injury and tended to disappear from the radar screens, has a new threatening edge to her game this year that should make her a dangerous front-runner.

She was already talking like one on Saturday when she said: “It’s definitely nice to tee it up on Sunday. This time last year I was seeing doctors. Everything happens for a reason. It was unfortunate that it happened here in Thailand, but it did and I wanted to come back and give myself an opportunity on Sunday. That’s what I’ve done.

” I worked really hard this off season. I didn’t take a whole lot of time off because I felt like last year I took a lot of time off with my thumb. I wanted to work hard. I worked out a lot. I’ve gained a lot of distance, hitting it much further than I have before. I feel really healthy. It’s been my goal to get strong and it’s starting to pay off.

Scotland’s Catriona Matthew was five under with three to play, but she bogeyed the 16th and 17th to card a disappointing 73 and drop out of contention.

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