RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Yani Tseng and Suzann Pettersen wore matching outfits Saturday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship while matching each other for the low round of the day. Their 67s moved them into second place, and helped them earn spots in Sunday’s final threesome.
Tseng and Pettersen, who both live in Orlando and practice often during the offseason, have a friendly rivalry. Tseng called Pettersen Saturday morning to coordinate their outfits (purple shirts and white shorts). Their friendship helped them go low.
“You just know you’re going to go out there and play well together sometimes, and this was one of those days,” Pettersen’s caddie, Dave Brooker, said. “It shouldn’t matter, but it does.”
The Kraft Nabisco Championship switches from twosomes to threesomes for the final round, which will allow Tseng and Pettersen to join Karen Stupples in the final group.
All three players are Orlando residents and are seeking their second major. Stupples is at 10-under 206, while Tseng and Pettersen are 9-under par. Lorena Ochoa and Song-Hee Kim are tied for fourth at 7-under par.
Stupples and Tseng live at Lake Nona, while Pettersen practices at Bay Hill.
Contending for a major is a priceless experience. Winning an extra $100 in the process makes it even sweeter.
That’s how much Pettersen won off Tseng for outdriving her on the par-5 11th hole on Saturday. Seeing that their balls were separated by a yard, Pettersen ran up to them, then taunted Tseng when she saw hers was the farther one.
Tseng laughed when Pettersen missed an eagle putt on that hole, because a Pettersen eagle would’ve cost Tseng more money. Instead, they each had six birdies and a single bogey on Saturday.
“She’s a very aggressive player, kind of reminds me a little bit of myself,” Pettersen said.
Tseng made birdie on the final two holes after missing a 5-footer for par on No. 16. Pettersen also made birdie on the final hole. They high-fived and embraced after while walking off the 18th green.
Tseng said she would try to smile Sunday to relieve the nerves that come with contending for a major. That’s easy to do when playing with a good friend.