Tseng leads by one in LPGA opener

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, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Chonburi, Thailand -- Women's world No. 1 Yani Tseng eagled the par-five 18th on Saturday en route to a two-under 70 and a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the LPGA's season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand.

Tseng, who won two major championships last year, completed 54 holes at nine- under-par 207.

First- and second-round leader In-Kyung Kim managed an even-par 72 to drop into a share of second at minus-eight. She stands alongside Michelle Wie, who posted a one-under 71 in the third round.

Paula Creamer shot her second straight two-under 70 and is alone in fourth place at seven-under-par 209 at Siam Country Club.

Tseng started her round with a double-bogey on the par-four second. That dropped her three strokes back. After four straight pars, she converted back- to-back birdie chances from the seventh.

Those birdies gave her the lead as the leaders faltered, but she dropped a shot at No. 9 and that left her tied for the lead with M.J. Hur at minus-six.

Tseng was suddenly three shots ahead after birdies on 10 and 12. With Creamer making a charge, Tseng birdied the 15th to maintain her two-stroke advantage.

However, she stumble to bogeys on 16 and 17. Tseng rebounded with a four-foot eagle putt at the last to grab the third-round lead for the fifth time in her career.

"It was a very exciting finishing eagle, that's for sure. Nice to have a one- shot lead over I.K. and Michelle," Tseng stated. "It was better for me today. A tough start with a double-bogey on the second hole, but I had a good comeback and I stayed really patient today."

Kim looked as though she was going to fall out of contention after three straight bogeys from the third. She got one stroke back with a birdie on the seventh, but she tripped to another bogey on the ninth to make the turn at minus-five.

After five consecutive pars to start her back nine, Kim caught fire down the stretch. She birdied the 15th, then closed with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18.

"I think some holes played really tough and you have to miss in the right spots," said Kim. "I didn't really do that very well on the front nine. I tried to play smart on the back and I dropped some putts with a lot of break."

Like Kim, Wie fell down the leaderboard early, then fought her way back into the picture. Wie bogeyed three of four holes from the third to dip to minus- four.

Wie got one stroke back with a birdie on the seventh. She also birdied the 10th, but faltered to a bogey on No. 12. Wie atoned for that error with a birdie on the par-four 13th. She birdied 17 and 18 to end one shot back.

"On the front nine, I putted horribly, couldn't make a single thing, but on the back nine I put myself together," admitted Wie. "It was hot out there and you have to focus because you find yourself getting tired."

Karrie Webb shot four-under 68 to move into fifth place at six-under-par 210. Hur also managed a 68 to climb into sixth at minus-five.

Juli Inkster was two-under par after six holes and led by one at minus-seven. However, she played the final 12 holes in three-over par for a one-over 73. She shares seventh place with Stacy Lewis (71), Pornanong Phatlum (72) and Mika Miyazato (70) at four-under-par 212.

NOTES: Tseng won two of the previous four events in which she owned at least a piece of the 54-hole lead...Defending champion Ai Miyazato struggled to a three-over 73 that left her tied for 23rd at one-over-par 217.


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