Prattville – Defending champion Lorena Ochoa (66-68-66) has taken control of the 2009 Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, putting a three-stroke gap between her and second place Sandra Gal on Saturday. After three rounds of play, Ochoa has a 16-under-par 200.
The Rolex Rankings’ number one player said that she draws from her experience last year after winning the Navistar tournament.
“That’s the best thing you can do in golf is to have good memories, to be positive, and to have all those good shots from last year and the good feelings of walking on the fairways,” remarked Ochoa.
Ochoa has had the lead going into the final round 27 times in her career, winning 19 times and never losing with the lead in the last round since 2007.
A third consecutive round in the 60s for second-year Tour member Sandra Gal pushed her to 13-under-par 203 and three strokes off the lead.
Followed closely behind Ochoa and Gal are Janice Moodie and Brittany Lang, each with a 12-under-par 204.
Twelve-time LPGA winner Cristie Kerr (71-73-64) went from a tie for 68th at even-par to barely make the cut, to a tie for 13th after 54 holes thanks to an 8-under-par 64. She needs 8 strokes to catch up with leader Ochoa in the fourth round.
Kerr discussed her putting after the third round of play today.
“I went back to my two ball (putter),” Kerr said. “I told my caddie, ‘Just shoot me if I try and switch away from the two-ball’ … because sometimes even if you don’t feel you’re putting poorly you switch.”
Young golfing sensation and 14-year-old amateur Alexis Thompson carded a 2-over-par 74 during Saturday’s third round to be tied for 13th heading into Sunday’s final round.
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard reflected on the events of the week and even spoke about his favorite golfer.
“It has been a great week,” said Byard. “The crowds have been good. Wednesday was probably my most favorite day because that was when we announced the extension … so that was a good day.”
“If I had to pick one golfer to follow, it would be Christina Kim,” the mayor continued. “She’s colorful … and she Twitters. I like her attitude and she’s a little spunky.”
Article by Melissa Parker
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