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Wind gusts cause stir at LPGA event

©Associated Press
August 18, 2002

VAUDREUIL-DORION, Quebec -- Catriona Matthew, a model of consistency, shot her third straight 2-under-par 70 to take the third-round lead Saturday in the LPGA's Canadian Women's Open.

Matthew holed birdie putts of 25 feet and 12 feet on her final two holes to move to 6-under 210, one stroke ahead of Meg Mallon, who had a solid 69. Only bogey at 18 marred the round as Mallon mastered the difficult Summerlea Golf and Country Club course southwest of Montreal.

Another two shots back were Gloria Park and Se Ri Pak, who were tied with Michelle Ellis at 3-under 213. Charlotta Sorenstam and Karrie Webb were at 214, one shot ahead of Michele Redman. First-round leader Kate Golden was one of three players at par 216.

The wind, a telling factor each round, played havoc again. Although it didn't gust as strongly as the 20 mph bursts on Friday, the top 11 players still combined for 32 bogeys on another warm, sunny day.

The forecast for today's final round was calling for isolated showers and thunderstorms by late morning with wind gusts of 25 mph.

"Anybody within seven shots of the lead has a chance if the wind comes up," Ellis said. "It's one of those courses."

Park, who began the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Matthew and Ellis, quickly dropped with three bogeys in the first four holes. She rallied with four birdies before the turn, then bogeyed Nos. 12 and 14 to fall back.

"I'm still in good shape," Park said. "You never know what's going to happen. You have to be patient. This course is so tough, but I have a chance."

Pak shot 68 and charged toward the top of the leaderboard with a strong finish. She started five shots back and moved to 4 under after three consecutive birdies on the back nine. She missed a 7-foot putt for par at 17 for bogey and ended at 3 under.

"I was mad after that putt, but that's the way golf is," Pak said. "There's still one day left and I feel good about it."

NORTH WEST OF IRELAND: Second-round leader Costantino Rocca and Massimo Florioli were tied at 1 under through 11 holes in the third round of the European PGA Tour event before play was suspended because of darkness in Ballyliffin, Ireland.

Rocca, who led after two rounds, was at 3 over when play was halted. Florioli was at 2 over.

Play was suspended for more than 4 1/2 hours as wind gusts reached 40 mph. Three dozen players did not complete the round, and are expected to finish today before beginning the final round.

Paul Broadhurst shot 2-over 74 and was the leader in the clubhouse at 6 over.

COMPAQ OPEN: Second-round leader Annika Sorenstam shot 4-under 68 to take a six-stroke lead after three rounds of the European LPGA Tour event in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Sorenstam, playing in Sweden for the first time in two years, had four birdies and moved to 15-under 201 in front of a record gallery of 19,000.

"Unbelievable!" Sorenstam said. "I got goose bumps. I've never experienced anything like this in Sweden before. Unfortunately, I didn't make so many putts. But I didn't make a bogey and it means that I'm swinging well."

U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR: Becky Lucida won the championship by building a six-hole lead in the morning round and holding off Brandi Jackson 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final in Scarborough, N.Y.

"It's pretty surreal right now," Lucidi said. "This trophy looks good to me, but nothing has sunk in yet. My nerves were there all week, but I was more intense today."

YORK CLASSIC: First-round leader Caryn Wilson shot 2-under 70 and led by one at 8-under 136 after the second round of the Futures Tour event in Pennsylvania. Brooksville's Kelly Lagedrost shot 72 and was tied for 35th at 145.

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