After returning a second straight round of 68 in round two at Royal Birkdale, Yani Tseng from Chinese Taipei will be looking to hold on to top position on the leader board today.
At eight under par, the World No.5 started the third round four ahead of Amy Yang, Brittany Lincicome and Cristie Kerr. Yang and Tseng teed off in the last pairing at 1.40pm.
Tseng has never led after 36 holes in her three LPGA victories, nor at the Handa Women’s Australian Open, a co-sanctioned event on the LET and ALPG which she won earlier this year.
After two rounds she trailed by six at the 2010 Handa Women’s Australian Open, by three at the 2010 Kraft Nabisco, by eight at the 2009 Corning LPGA Classic, and by nine at the 2008 LPGA Championship, the site of her first LPGA win. Tseng has not led heading into the weekend of a Major championship, but she is not worried. “I feel really confident, and actually I never had a lead in a Major, so this week I have to stay on top all week and stay very patient,” she said.
After buying Annika Sorenstam’s Lake Nona home, Tseng found herself with a very large trophy case to fill. Tseng commented, “That trophy case looks so empty for me. So I really don’t like that feeling.”
Tseng played in the calm and dry conditions on Friday morning and she looks set to take advantage of the best weather in the third round too. After a cold, blustery morning, with some heavy rain showers, there are blue skies at Royal Birkdale for the afternoon competitors.
LET rookie Maria Hernandez of Spain shot one of the best rounds of the afternoon wave on Friday. She fired a 2-under 70 which put her in a tie for 16th heading into the weekend. Hernandez captured the Allianz Slovak Open for her first LET victory and her best finish in the U.S. is a tie for 41st at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The only two players in the top 15 to have played in the worst of the Friday afternoon deluge were Anne-Lise Caudal and In Kyung Kim, the 2009 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters champion, who had rounds of 73 and 72 respectively.
Only six of the top 41 players at halfway had competed in the last third of the second day’s tee times, which experienced the worst of the weather conditions, mainly heavy rain.
In total, there were 18 of the world’s top-20 players from the Rolex Women’s World Golf rankings competing after Korean Sun Ju Ahn withdrew prior to the start of the tournament and 17 made the cut. Catriona Matthew, the World No.19 and 2009 champion, was the only top-20 ranked player missing the weekend.
At five-over-par 149, 75 players made the cut. Only one amateur is playing the weekend, Caroline Hedwall from Sweden.
There were 26 Ladies European Tour members who made the cut, including regular competitors Anne-Lise Caudal from France, South Africans Stacy Bregman, Ashleigh Simon and Lee-Anne Pace, Becky Brewerton from Wakes, the English trio of Henrietta Zuel, Florentyna Parker and Melissa Reid, Germany’s Anja Monke and Sweden’s Carin Koch.
American Morgan Pressel, who finished as the runner-up at last week’s Evian Masters in France, has the round of the day so far with a seven-under-par 65 which is also the best of the championship.
Pressel bogeyed the tough opening two holes but her round caught fire with birdies on the third, fourth, seventh and ninth for an outward total of 33. She bogeyed the 12th but birdied the 13th, 14th and 16th, eagled the 17th and then birdied the 18th for an inward nine of five under 32.