Wie, Shin tied for Canadian Open lead

Michelle Wie (seen here Saturday, Aug. 28) is tied with Jiyai Shin for the lead after three rounds...

Michelle Wie (seen here Saturday, Aug. 28) is tied with Jiyai Shin for the lead after three rounds of the LPGA Tour’s CN Canadian Women’s Open. (QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:35 PM ET

Michelle Wie had a three-shot lead to start.

Then she didn't.

Then she did.

Then she didn't.

When the roller-coaster of a third round finally pulled up to the platform late Saturday afternoon at wet and mosquito-infested St. Charles Country Club, Jiyai Shin had erased Wie's three-shot lead at the CN Canadian Women's Open with a 3-under-par 69.

Wie carded an even-par 72, which means the two are tied atop the leaderboard at 10 under going into Sunday's fourth and final round of the $2.25 million tournament. Sunday's winner will take home $337,500 US.

Wie and Shin are four shots clear of three golfers: Na Yeon Choi, who shot 71 on Saturday, Jee Young Lee (71) and defending champion Suzann Pettersen (72). It looks, however, like it will be a two-horse race.

Wie, 20, has one LPGA Tour win, while Shin, 22, has already hoisted seven trophies in her brief career.

"I'm not thinking about winning or losing tomorrow," said Wie, who had a three-shot lead after the first round as well. "I'm just thinking about doing better than today. There's a couple of things that I want to do better.

"You know, it's not up to me if I win or lose. It's not up to anyone. If I try to go out there and play my own game and I shoot a score that I'm happy about and someone shoots a really low round, there's nothing I can do about it."

The sharpshooting Shin had erased Wie's lead after seven holes, but a Wie birdie on 10 and Shin bogeys on 11 and 12 restored the Hawaiian's three-stroke advantage.

That's when Shin's caddie, Dean Herden, told her to slow down her swing. She did, and it worked, as the South Korean birdied 13, 14 and 17 to join Wie atop the leaderboard once again.

Shin, ranked No. 4 in the world ranking, said the up and down she made for par on 16, while Wie was making bogey, was the key moment of her back nine.

"I was happy with my chipping on 16 because the pin location was really hard, and I know that I'm close Michelle, so I knew I have to make par," Shin said.

The bad news for Wie is that one of Shin's nicknames is "Final Round Queen," which pretty much speaks for itself.

"I am really comfortable playing with Michelle right now," said Shin, who has been paired with Wie all three days. "I know her playing, her style. I think she knows my play, too. So maybe tomorrow we can make it (a) fun game."

Wie grabbed her aching lower back all day long, but she figures there's an easy way to cure the pain.

"I have to say missing the fairways and trying to muscle it out of the rough did not really help the situation much," said Wie, who hit only five of 14 fairways. "So hopefully I'll be in the short stuff tomorrow."

A frustrated Pettersen couldn't get anything going on a course that softened up nicely due to a steady light rain, but she believes she has a shot at defending her crown.

"Today was just awful for me," the 29-year-old Norwegian said. "But I'm within reach. I picked a good day to play bad and hang in there, and I'll hopefully try to grind out something good tomorrow.

"I'm surprised nobody has made a move today, to be honest, because the conditions are great."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos