The pressure of a first pro golf tournament wasn't enough for Stacy Lewis. She chose to make it the U.S. Women's Open. The rookie of rookies had a -6, six under par today to claim a one stroke lead over Paula Creamer heading into the final round. Lewis needed just 23 putts in her round which is truly remarkable on an Open set up. The Arkansas All-American played like a seasoned vet which is understandable based on what she's been through. Playing major championship golf is a piece of cake. Stacy plays with a metal rod placed in her back to correct what was debilitating scoliosis. The surgery actually made her 1 1/2 inches taller! She spent eight weeks in bed post surgery and has endured excruciating pain. There's a great possibility that her practice time and number of events played on the L.P.G.A. tour will be curtailed due to her condition.
Creamer's had a championship type tournament so far, playing with consistency and aggressiveness when allowed. She missed two makeable putts on 17 and 18 today that could have made her the day three leader. Still, she's exuding the confidence of a veteran that will be fun to watch unfold with the rookie Lewis in the final pairing tomorrow. Helen Alfredsson's more than holding her own with the bevy of young stars. Her -2 today placed her tied with Inbee Park in third place, both only two strokes out of the lead. A pair of Kims were next. In-Young at -6, and too cute Mi Hyun at -5. Amateur Maria Jose Uribe lost position with her -1, ending in a tie with Angela Park at -4. Jeong Jang back pedaled as well with a one over 74 to leave her tied with three other players at -3, six shots back.
Cristie Kerr and Annika Sorenstam were at -2, both in need of a career round tomorrow and some help from the leaders. Seven strokes is too much ground to recover over that many players in front of you. Morgan Pressel's at +1. Average Golfer's pick to win, Suzann Peterssen is at +2. Average Golfer should stick to picking breakfast cereals, no more, no less. And lastly, Lorena Ochoa skidded to +4 for the tournament. Hey, no one wins them all.
Congrats to Michelle Wie for getting up early and playing a meaningless 9th hole to complete her round. I'm not sure she'd have done that as early as a year ago.
Three rounds in the books, still no indication of who's going to take home the silver trophy. It's must see TV tomorrow. Let it rain.
Average Golfer observation........Kudos to NBC for handing over extended coverage to ESPN2. For those of you old enough to remember the NFL "Heidi" game, it's well appreciated. Secondly, whether by design or not, ESPN2 removed the annoying scoring graphics from the top of the screen so I could actually use over half of my TV's viewing area. Now, about that score scroll on the bottom.....