Wie moves into contention


POSTED: Sunday, May 17, 2009

CLIFTON, N.J. >> Suzann Pettersen and Ji Young Oh seemingly won't have to worry about three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa making a run at them in the final round of the Sybase Classic.





        Michelle Wie can hit it far, but it doesn't always land in the fairway. Her LPGA ranks:

» Rounds under par: 11/19 (T9th)


» Birdies: 66 (36th)


» Eagles: 2 (T14th)


» Greens in regulation: 0.619 (67th)


» Driving accuracy: 0.552 (141st)


» Sand saves: 0.421 (56th)


» Putts per green: 1.81 (T24th)


» Driving average: 262.3 (11th)


Source: lpga.com


There are plenty of other challengers though, including recent major winner Brittany Lincicome, eight-time LPGA winner Paul Creamer and probably the most famous non-winner on tour, 19-year-old Michelle Wie.

Pettersen of Norway and Oh of South Korea shot 3-under 69s yesterday, taking a one-stroke lead over Lincicome after three rounds of the $2 million event that seemingly will have a new champion with Ochoa 10 shots back heading into the final round on the Upper Montclair Country Club.

The biggest story would be Wie winning her first title since the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003. She turned pro in 2006 but that first win has eluded her.

She had a second in Hawaii earlier this year after blowing a three-stroke lead with eight holes to go.

“;It would mean a lot,”; Wie said after matching Creamer's 69 to move three shots behind the leaders. “;I always think about it, you know, how — that old Nationwide Tour commercial with the guy holding the little (coffee) creamer thing, that's basically how I feel. I'm just basically going to go out there and try my hardest and have fun like I had the last few it days and see where it takes me.”;

If Wie is going to win, she will have to putt better. She missed seven putts of 10 feet or less in the second round and she missed four of 4 feet or less yesterday.

“;I'm a pretty good putter, just want to send the ball home,”; Wie said. “;But it will go home tomorrow; I'll make it.”;