Tseng maintains lead at British Open

Yani Tseng (right) of Taiwan hugs her caddie after an eagle putt on the 18th green during the...

Yani Tseng (right) of Taiwan hugs her caddie after an eagle putt on the 18th green during the British Women's Open on July 31, 2010. (REUTERS/Nigel Roddis)

THE SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 3:04 PM ET

SOUTH PORT, England - Yani Tseng eagled the final hole Saturday en route to her third straight four-under 68 and a four-shot lead after the third round of the Women's British Open.

Tseng finished 54 holes at 12-under 204 at rainy, windy Royal Birkdale.

Katherine Hull, who shared the first-round lead with Tseng, rattled off five straight birdies to finish her round. The Australian shot a six-under 66 and is second at eight-under 208.

In-Kyung Kim posted a four-under 68 on Saturday and is alone in third at minus-six. Brittany Lincicome managed a one-under 71 and is fourth at five- under 211.

LPGA Champion Cristie Kerr was within two on Saturday, but her putter let her down. She signed for an even-par 72 and is tied for fifth place with Hee Kyung Seo (70), Momoko Ueda (70), Christina Kim (70) and Suzann Pettersen (71). The group finished at four-under 212.

In another day of rainy, tough conditions, history was made at the famed Royal Birkdale.

Morgan Pressel fired a seven-under 65 to establish a new course record.

"I didn't forget that I was playing Royal Birkdale, but I just played well. I played solid," said Pressel, who bogeyed her first two holes, then tallied an eagle, eight birdies and a bogey the rest of the way.

Pressel vaulted into a share of 10th at minus-three.

With Pressel tearing Royal Birkdale apart, the leader just went along with pars.

Tseng parred her first 12 holes, but only Kerr got within two strokes in the middle of the second round. At the 13th, Tseng collected her first birdie of the round and was three in front of Hull as Kerr sunk down the leaderboard.

Hull flew up the leaderboard with her birdie run, but Tseng recorded another birdie, this time at the par-five 15th. Tseng was two in front and that's where it would stay when Hull got in the clubhouse at eight-under par.

At the par-five closing hole, Tseng knocked her second 12 feet from the flag. She rolled in the putt for her second eagle of the tournament at 18 and a four-shot cushion.

"It was really exciting today, especially the eagle at the last hole," Tseng said in a television interview. "I stayed very patient all day today. I hit 16 greens and putted pretty well."

Tseng had never led a major championship prior to this week.

Actually, she led two after they were done.

Tseng won the 2008 LPGA Championship and this year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. At the ripe age of 21, Tseng is halfway to the career Slam and a win on Sunday would get her one step closer.

"I stick to my game plan," said Tseng. "I'm trying to not think too much about how shots I've got, or how shots I was leading by. One shot at a time and stay really patient."

Hull has one victory on the LPGA Tour and that came at the 2008 Canadian Open. She knows she has some work ahead of her to catch the No. 5 player in the world.

"I'm going to have to play well to catch up with her," said Hull.

Pressel was joined in 10th place by Na Yeon Choi, who had a three-under 69 on Saturday.

NOTES: Tseng only has one bogey through 54 holes...Becky Brewerton aced the par-three 12th. She shot a one-under 71 and is tied for 17th place at plus- one...Michelle Wie had a one-under 71 and is also at one-over par...U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer, who inflamed her injured wrist on Friday, carded a two-under 70 and shares 25th at two-over.


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