Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, seeking to rebound from a hip injury, fired a five-under 67 on Thursday to seize a one-shot lead over Lorena Ochoa in the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, who won the 2008 LPGA Championship, had a roller-coaster of a round that included five birdies, four bogeys and an eagle. Tseng is among a group including major titlists Karrie Webb of Australia and Karen Stupples of Britain on 69.
Taiwan’s Teresa Lu scored 73, Amy Hung had 74 and Candie Kung had 75.
Pettersen played without a bogey at Mission Hills to stay in front of former champion Ochoa — who missed birdie putts at her final two holes.
Pettersen showed no sign of the painful hip injury that required a cortisone shot, hitting 12 fairway and 13 greens in regulation.
“It’s quite demanding off the tees, and there’s just certain tee shots you’ve just got to take on,” Pettersen said. “And I think if you can place it off the tee, I think you’re in a very good position. You’ve just got to play what this course gives you. I’ve learned that over the years. And patience, obviously. I would take a bogey-free round any day around this place.”
Asked if the greens or rough looked more difficult this year, she said: “I can’t really answer you about the rough.”
She’s hoping it stays that way as the first women’s major of the year continues.
“You get in there, you’re looking at just hacking it out and hopefully get somewhere around the green or on the green if you’re lucky,” she said. “So it’s quite important to keep the ball in play and give yourself a lot of good looks at the pins.”
Defending champion Brittany Lincicome drained a birdie putt on 12 to get as low as four-under before bogeys at 13 and 15 saw her finish on 70. US star Michelle Wie carded a 71.
Pettersen has two top-10 finishes in three starts this year. The hip injury kept her from swinging a club for about three weeks.
“I thought I was going to have two solid weeks of practice. It turned out to be two solid weeks on the couch,” said Pettersen, who won the 2007 LPGA Championship and has three straight top-five finishes here.
However, Pettersen still has plenty of work to do with five major titlists within three shots of her lead.
Mexico’s Ochoa, who teed off three hours after Pettersen, had chances to tie the Norwegian star but rolled a long putt just right of the hole at 17 and then missed a 10-footer at 18.
Ochoa, the 2008 champion, had six birdies and two bogeys.
“It was a good day for sure,” Ochoa said. “It helped me with a good start. I think that’s why I’m happy to have a good start because you never know what’ll happen tomorrow. You could show up here and all of a sudden the wind is 30 mph.”
Additional reporting by staff writer
The Taichung Warriors yesterday collapsed in the final at the 15th Taiwan Annual Cricket Cup in Chiayi City, but Chetan Sharma’s 50 scripted a near-unbelievable resurgence to snatch the trophy from the Taiwan Stars. Sharma’s 4-24 restricted the Stars to 130-6, but the reply was a disaster as the Warriors fell to 25-7 after six overs. However, Sharma undid all the work of opening bowlers Amir Sohail and Abrar Hussain (both 3-14) to guide them to a two-wicket win. The result reversed their group-stage encounter at the eight-team, two-day competition at the Yunsan baseball fields. In the semi-finals, Sohail took 4-21 as the Stars
Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang on Saturday broke the 200m short course butterfly world junior record at the opening meet of the International Swimming League season in Budapest, Hungary. The 18-year-old, who was representing the Cali Condors, a San Francisco-based professional swimming club, finished third in 1 minute, 50.79 seconds. Wang finished behind winner Tom Shields of the LA Current (1:50.43) and runner-up Chad le Clos of Energy Standard (1:50.48). Wang’s time broke the 2012 world junior record of 1:51.30 set by former Japanese national team captain Daiya Seto. It also broke his national record of 1:52.38, set at the 2018 FINA World Cup meeting
The All Blacks might have unearthed the next Jonah Lomu after 21-year-old Caleb Clarke yesterday proved to be a one-man demolition squad in the All Blacks’ 27-7 whipping of Australia in Auckland, New Zealand. Clarke, the son of former All Black Eroni Clarke, takes an uncomplicated approach to using his 1.84m, 107kg frame. “When you get the ball, just run. You don’t have to think about anything,” he said after his first Test start, after making his debut off the bench last week in the drawn first Bledisloe Cup Test. As the All Blacks lifted their aggression and accuracy in Auckland, much of
A team made up mostly of Guatemalans who live and work in Taiwan were on Sunday crowned winners of the women’s Copa America Taiwan soccer tournament after defeating a Paraguayan team in the final in New Taipei City. Guatemala defeated Paraguay 3-1 in a final that kept hundreds of spectators on the edge of their seats at Fu Jen Catholic University Stadium. The two teams attacked at will early in the match as both looked to take an early lead, but it was Paraguay who went in front after a cleverly worked free-kick was headed into the net. In the second half, Guatemala