It’s been a year-long battle for the title of ‘Best Player in 2010 Not To Win A Title’ between Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and Korea’s Song-Hee Kim. Pettersen may be setting herself up to win that title if she again falls short at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational after firing a 3-under 68 to take a one shot lead at 12-under over the international quartet of Korea’s In-Kyung Kim, Japan’s Ai Miyazato, France’s Karine Icher and America’s Stacy Lewis. Pettersen has five runner-ups, a third and three fourths without a win this year. In her career she has tasted victory four times in nine tries when starting the final round in the lead.
Although sitting atop the leaderboard, some loose sand play down the stretch made the Norwegian’s lead slimmer than it should have been. Pettersen could easily be working with a three shot cushion instead of a slim one stroke advantage. Player of the Year candidate Ai Miyazato could set herself up to be the first Japanese player to win LPGA Player of the Year since Ayako Okamoto in 1987. Korea’s In-Kyung Kim, a two-time career LPGA winner, could slip by both Miyazato and Pettersen to notch the eighth win of the year for Korean players and four straight, following wins in the last three events by Jimin Kang, Na Yeon Choi and world #1 Ji-Yai Shin. Second round leader Paula Creamer shot even par 72, but in a tournament where birdies are falling for everybody, that sent her into reverse.
Mika Miyazato and Angela Stanford
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