Stupples controls nerves to seize Kraft lead

Karen Stupples shares a laugh at No. 18 with her caddie Jerry "Woody" Woodard during the third round.

Karen Stupples shares a laugh at No. 18 with her caddie Jerry "Woody" Woodard during the third round.

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Kraft Nabisco Championship

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Karen Stupples got a get-your-head-on-straight-this-is-what-you-play-for pep talk from her caddie on the first tee. She was admittedly nervous, feeling sick Saturday afternoon.

“I mean it’s a good buzz to be that nervous,” Stupples said, “because you know that you’re doing well.”

Stupples birdied the 17th hole to take a one-shot lead over Yani Tseng and Suzann Pettersen going into the final round at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Last year, Stupples had an emergency appendectomy the Sunday before Kraft and had to withdraw from her favorite tournament. She and her family still made the trip to Southern California and stayed at the house they had rented.

“I sat here in the house in Palm Springs and watched it on the TV, very sad that I wasn’t playing,” she said.

What a difference a year can make.

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