August 5, 2006

American Steinhauer holds three-shot lead in Open

By Elspeth Burnside

LYTHAM (Reuters) - Review of the third round at the women's
British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne's on Saturday:

* American Sherri Steinhauer, a two-time former winner,
leads on seven-under-par 209 after a third round 66. The
43-year-old had four birdies and an eagle three at the long
15th where she holed a long, snaking putt.

* Teenager Michelle Wie, who was penalized two shots for
touching a loose impediment in a bunker on her backswing in
round two, shot a 72 to be 11 shots adrift of the lead. The
16-year-old Hawaiian is on four over par 220.

* Steinhauer won the first of her British Opens at Lytham
in 1998 and retained it at Woburn the following year. But
neither was classed as a major victory - the championship only
earned that status in 2001.

* "When people ask me what titles I've won and I say the
British they just presume it was major, I don't say anything,"
said Steinhauer. "It would be a huge bonus to have that status,
but I'm trying not to think about it because I don't want to
get ahead of myself."

* American Juli Inkster, the three shot halfway leader,
slipped back after double-bogeys at the long seventh and the
par four tenth. But she hit back with a birdies at the short
12th and the long 15th to get to five before dropping a shot
via a greenside bunker at the last for a 74 and four under par.

* Inkster shares second place with Mexico's Lorena Ochoa,
Swede Sophie Gustafson and England's Karen Stupples, who shot
70 to raise hopes of repeating her home win at Sunningdale two
years ago.

* Swede Gustafson, the 2000 champion from Royal Birkdale,
had five birdies to raise hopes of claiming her first LPGA
title since 2003.

* World No.1 Annika Sorenstam bogeyed the final three holes
for an inward 40 and a disappointing 73 that left her seven
shots behind on level par 216.