Tseng leads in Australia, chases No. 1 ranking

Yani Tseng during Day 3 of the Australian Open.

Yani Tseng during Day 3 of the Australian Open.

GOLD COAST, Australia – Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, who can take the No. 1 ranking in women’s golf with a victory at the Australian Masters, took a three-stroke lead into the final round Saturday, shooting a 9-under-par 63.

Tseng has a three-round total of 20-under 196 at the joint Australian and Ladies European Tour event at Royal Pines.

Second-round co-leader Stacy Lewis was in second place after a 67, while fellow American Ryann O’Toole also shot 67 and was five back. Ashleigh Simon of South Africa shot 68 and was six strokes behind in fourth place.

Jiyai Shin of South Korea, who is the No. 1 ranked women, tied for second last week at the Women’s Australian Open in Melbourne won by Tseng.

Tseng was unaware a win would move her to No. 1 until told after her round.

“So if I win, I will be No. 1? Jeez, I will be nervous,” she said, smiling. “I feel very excited. I want to go out and shoot a lot of birdies tomorrow.”

Seven-time winner Karrie Webb shot 68 Saturday and was at 205, nine shots behind.

“I guess a little better than yesterday, still very up and down, inconsistent,” Webb said. “A perfect example, I hit it to 2 feet on 16, great iron shot and a good drive. Hit it to 2 feet on 17 and then snap hooked it off the tee at 18.”

If Tseng wins, she will be only the second player to win the Women’s Australian Open and Ladies Masters titles in the same year. Webb won both tournaments in 2000 and in 2007.

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