Even after shooting the low round of the day in the LPGA Corning Classic, Jeong Jang was surprised.
"I think I'm leading," Jang said.
Indeed, she was.
Jang shot a 6-under 66 Saturday to take the third-round lead. She was at 15-under 201, three shots ahead of Brandie Burton (70), first-round co-leader Nancy Scranton (70), and Thai rookie Virada Nirapathpongporn (71), who began the day one shot ahead.
Hee-Won Han (69) was another shot behind, and 2002 Corning champion Laura Diaz (67), rookie Morgan Pressel (68), and Kris Tamulis (69) were tied at 10-under 206. Meena Lee (70), who shared the first-round lead, was among five players at 207, and 1988 Corning champ Sherri Turner was in a group of four at 208.
Jang was nearly flawless from tee to green, missing only one fairway and making 16-of-18 greens in regulation. The lone fairway she missed came at 18, and it led to her only bogey of the day.
"Every single hole I hit it really good," she said. "It makes it easy. That's what I needed."
Jang had one victory in her first six years on tour, but it came in a major -- last year's British Open. She also was in a three-way tie for the lead heading into the final round of the Office Depot Championship last year and tied for sixth.
"I like to be leading," said Jang, who led the tour in 2005 with 331 birdies. "But I'm going to be a little nervous."
Ditto for Virada. She began the day with a bogey and never mustered a charge as she did in shooting 66 and 67 over the first two rounds. Two birdies on the back nine kept her close, though.
"I kept plugging away and finally got my rhythm. I wasn't real comfortable on the front," Virada said. "The nerves. I'm glad I got to do this today (begin the round in the lead), not tomorrow."