HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. Stifling heat that turned Bulle Rock into an oven cooked up quite a surprise Saturday in the McDonald's LPGA Championship a rare stumble by Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam in the hunt and a one-shot lead for Jee Young Lee.
Lee, one of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour, played her final four holes in 4-under par and surged into the lead with a 7-under 65. She was a shot ahead of Maria Hjorth of Sweden, another big hitter, who did most of her work early and also shot 65.
What looked like smooth sailing for Ochoa and her bid for a third straight major took a detour when she nearly whiffed on a wedge in the rough, went eight holes before making a birdie and had to rally for an even-par 72. Even so, she was only two shots behind and tied for third with Sorenstam, who shot a 68.
It could have been a dream scenario at Bulle Rock with Sorenstam and Ochoa playing together in the second-to-last group. But LPGA officials, fearful of more fog that delayed the start of the third round, decided on threesomes for the final round.
That puts Sorenstam in the final group with Lee and Hjorth, her best chance to win a major since she won the U.S. Women's Open at Newport two years ago. Sorenstam could tie the record with a fourth LPGA Championship, which would be even more meaningful because she has announced that she will retire at the end of the year.
Ochoa has won the last two majors with a comfortable lead going into the last day, and now faces a free-for-all at Bulle Rock. Ten players were within five shots.Lee was at 12-under 204.
STANFORD ST. JUDE CHAMPIONSHIP: At Memphis, Tenn., Tim Clark broke a logjam at the Stanford St. Jude Championship, finishing a bogey-free 6-under 64 with three birdies and an eagle on his final five holes to take a two-stroke lead. On a day that started with six players tied for the lead, Clark's 5-under 205 total held up as he looks for his first PGA Tour victory.
Gusting winds that had made par a valuable score through the first two rounds eased enough to make club selection a bit easier, but the wind often came up or changed directions at the wrong time. With the greens remaining firm, scoring consistently remained a problem with 15 players under par through 54 holes.
Clark will play in the final round Sunday with countryman Trevor Immelman, the Masters champ. Immelman had his own opportunity to grab a share of the lead but bogeyed No. 18 to finish with a 67. He was tied at 207 with Bill Haas (67), Alex Cejka (69) and two of the second-round leaders in tour rookie Marc Turnesa (70) and Gavin Coles (70).Vijay Singh (70), 2005 winner Justin Leonard (67), Stephen Ames (68) and Dean Wilson (71) were three strokes back at 208.
BANK AUSTRIA OPEN: At Oberwaltersdorf, Austria, India's Jeev Milkha Singh shot an 8-under 63 to take a four-stroke lead in the rain-shortened Bank Austria Open.