Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOLF ROUNDUP; McPherson All Alone in Kraft Nabisco Lead

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOLF ROUNDUP; McPherson All Alone in Kraft Nabisco Lead

Article excerpt

Kristy McPherson's first LPGA Tour victory might just come in a major.

McPherson shot a 2-under 70 on a hot, calm Saturday to take sole possession of the lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at 8-under 208. Fellow American and 2007 U.S. Open winner Cristie Kerr (70) was one shot back at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The 27-year-old McPherson, with six career top-10 finishes but no victories, is playing in the Kraft Nabisco for the first time. On Friday, McPherson and Christina Kim teed off before strong wind raked the Coachella Valley and jumped into a tie for the lead in the LPGA's first major of the season.

Kim faltered in the third round Saturday with a 75 and was five shots back.

Brittany Lincicome, whose 66 topped the first round, also shot a 70 to remain in contention, two strokes behind.

McPherson got a nice round of applause from the gallery -- and playing partner Kim -- as she crossed the bridge to the 18th green.

McPherson had a birdie putt for a two-shot lead but ran it just to the left of the cup.

On a day when nobody ran off with the lead, McPherson at least stepped up and put her name atop the leaderboard by opening the back nine with three consecutive birdies.

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa needed a birdie on 18 to shoot her best round of the tournament, a 72. She was tied for 15th at 2 over.

Michelle Wie had another bad day with her second consecutive 9-over 81. She was last among the 70 weekend qualifiers at 17 over.

PGA TOUR: Bo Van Pelt moved to 11-under-par to take a one-shot lead through eight holes of his third round at the Shell Houston Open just before play was suspended because of darkness. Fred Couples, Paul Casey, Colt Knost and Tommy Armour III were all at 10 under when the horns sounded at 7:34 p.m. The players will resume the round early today, then tee off for the final 18. …

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