TAIPEI — Top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan regained first place in her home country’s first-ever LPGA event Saturday after shooting a sparkling 5-under 67 in the third round of the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Tseng, 22, fired seven birdies and two bogeys in the third round for a three-round 10-under total of 206 to take a two-stroke lead over Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.
A day earlier, Tseng lost her first-round lead, finishing tied for third at the end of the second round.
“I just forgot about yesterday. My new goal was to be patient all day,” Tseng said after the round, adding that she did not expect to play so well because of the strong wind.
Tseng said that she is “really proud of myself and feel really happy.”
The “golf queen” also attributed her good performance to the two South Korean players in her group — Amy Yang and Hee-won Han, both of whom Tseng said played “very well today.”
“They kind of pushed me harder, and pushed me to make birdies, too,” she added.
Yang had a nice start with four consecutive birdies on the first eight holes, but had a big slump on the last nine with two double-bogeys and one bogey. A total of seven birdies in the round only allowed her to finish a 6-under three-round total of 210, tied for fourth along with Han.
Meanwhile, Candie Kung, who was surprisingly tied for third with Tseng Friday, was in a bitter struggle in the third round with five bogeys, putting her tied for 15th with an even-par three-round total of 216.
Tseng is taking a shot at her seventh LPGA championship of 2011 in the tournament at the Sunrise course in Taoyuan County, where she has trained off and on for nearly six years.
With Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and Azahara Munoz of Spain trailing closely behind, Taiwan’s star golfer said she would stay relaxed and would not think about winning too much in order to “enjoy the game.”
The Oct. 20-23 tournament, with a total purse of US$2 million, attracted nearly 12,000 and 13,000 spectators, respectively, on the first two days.