Inkster 18 holes from becoming oldest LPGA winner
American Juli Inkster and Ai Miyazato of Japan each shot a 69 in
the third round to tie for the lead at the third round of the
LPGA's HSBC Women's Champions.
The 49-year-old Inkster led most of the round and finished at 7-under 209. The Hall of Famer could become the oldest winner in LPGA history.
Inkster, who hasn't won on tour since 2006, is bidding to best the mark set by Beth Daniel, who won the Canadian Women's Open in 2003 at the age of 46.
"I'd say right now I'm definitely the underdog," Inkster said. "I don't think anybody expects me to win."
But Miyazato, who won last week's season-opener in Thailand, jumped into a tie with the shot of the tournament so far: A long putt for eagle on 16.
"It was a really long putt, but I got a really good stroke and did a down-slope putt, and it was in," Miyazato said. "Juli is like my idol. I feel honored to play with her tomorrow."
Among those two shots back was Japan's Momoko Ueda, who has shot 68 the past two rounds. With her at 5-under were three South Koreans: Sun Young Yoo (71), Hee Young Park (69), and Hee-won Han (71).
American Angela Stanford, who was tied for the lead after two rounds, had a triple bogey on the 11th, but birdied two of her last three holes to stay in contention at 3-under.
No. 1 Lorena Ochoa - who stumbled to a 79 in the second round - shot a 73, leaving her 11 strokes back.
Michelle Wie shot a 69 to get within three strokes of the lead. Jiyai Shin, last year's winner, shot 72 and is also three shots back.