Kerr forges ahead

Christie Kerr extends her lead in Tucson

Sat, 11 Mar 2000
Kerr forges ahead

Twenty-two year old Christie Kerr continues her reign atop the leader board heading into the third round of the LPGA Welch's Circle K Championship after carding a four-under par round of 68 to tie the tournament record of 12-under par 132, set by Helen Alfredsson in 1998. Kerr maintained her two shot lead ahead of the field and closet competitor Moira Dunn.

Kerr, who began the day two shots ahead of Korea's Mi Hyun Kim, birdied five holes with one bogey on the par 4 tenth hole. In the first round, Kerr recorded two eagles, and tied her career best round of 64. Her second round performance was highlighted by a par save on the 17th hole from in between two palm trees. After hitting a five iron into the green, Kerr landed just short in between the trees. Her shot out landed about six feet from the hole where she made par.

"I hit the green and made a really good par on number 17," said Kerr. "I was happy not to hit either one of the trees, because they were there like field goals."

While continuing to play with her new PING I 3 irons, which arrived just before her first round tee time, Kerr has made her way to the top, a place she has not been since the second round of the 1999 McDonald's Championship. When asked about her plans heading into the final rounds of the tournament, Kerr remained optimistic.

"I try to tell myself don't try to shoot a number, take what the golf course will give you and take the birdies and play golf," Kerr said. "I don't want to get tense, so I am just going to play golf and relax."

Dunn, who trails Kerr by two, is looking for her first LPGA victory after six years on Tour. She made her way up the leader board with seven birdies to go six-under on the day.

At nine-under and in a four-way tie for third place are Annika Sorenstam, Fiona Pike, Janice Moodie and Se Ri Pak. Pak, who made the biggest move up the leader board, shot today' best round of seven-under par 65 to join the leaders.

Sorenstam, who opened her day with straight birdies on the first three holes, remained in contention despite finding the water on her ninth hole tee shot. On the par four 329 yard ninth hole, Sorenstam used a seven wood to lay up in front of the water, but end up taking the ball 248 yards into the hazard.

"I must have hit it hard or something," Sorenstam said. "Yesterday I hit 3 wood and I was not even close. Luckily, I saved par with a 12-foot putt."

Sara Sanders, Lorie Kane and Mi Hyun Kim remain just four shots back at 136, while Brandie Burton, Marisa Baena, Michele Redman, Dina Ammaccapane and Pat Hurst hold strong at 137.
The cut: 71 players at 143 (-1)