Date: February 24, 2009
Author:

ALPG/LET – PACKED LEADERBOARD AS LEE HOLDS ONE-SHOT LEAD

(The Metropolitan Golf Club, Melbourne)

rn

With 18 players within four shots of the leader, South Korean Chang-Hee Lee, the Women&aposs Australian Open is set for a thrilling final round battle at Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne on Sunday.
rn
rnThe second round leader, Lee had her lead narrowed from three shots to one with a 2-over par 75 on Saturday and sits on five-under-par, one stroke clear of Americans Alison Walshe and Beth Allen.
rn
rnDefending champion Karrie Webb, who is gunning for her fifth Australian Open title, is well placed just two shots from the lead in a share of fourth place with three others: South Korea&aposs He Yong Choi, Australian Emma Bennett and Tania Elosegui from Spain.
rn
rnWebb held a share of the lead halfway through her third round but was disappointed to drop three shots over the back nine. She slipped up with poor shots at the 10th, 13th and 14th holes and said: "I need to make fewer mistakes tomorrow if I&aposm going to have a chance to win."
rn
rnEngland&aposs Laura Davies, who won the Australian Open at Concorde Golf Club in 2004, played her way back into contention with a stunning round of 6-under par 67, which was the best round of the day.
rn
rnThe four time major champion finished three shots behind the leader on two-under-par and will play the final round with Webb, a seven-time major winner.
rn
rnAfter signing autographs Davies said: "This week I have done everything in groups. I had four birdies from five through eight and then I hit a lovely shank up nine. I&aposve birdied five, six, seven and eight and thinking I can turn in five under if I can get another birdie and I shanked it. Where I was after the shank was dead. That was always going to be a bogey. Then I three-putted 10 and then came back with birdie, birdie, eagle. When I get on a run it seems hard to get off it".
rn
rn"A shank is always a problem because you&aposve got to stand over the very next shot. My next shot was an eight-iron into 10 and I left it 30-40 feet short. You don&apost know if it is your swing or because of other things. I ended up three-putting. It basically cost me three shots."
rn
rnDavies shared eighth place with compatriot Rebecca Hudson, Scotland&aposs Clare Queen, American Diana D&aposAlessio and Dutch rookie Christel Boeljon. D&aposAlessio&aposs 4-under par 69 included nine birdies, two bogeys and a double.
rn
rnEngland&aposs Melissa Reid, who finished third at the Australian Open last year, was back in the mix on one-under and in a share of 13th position with five other players including England&aposs Georgina Simpson, Norway&aposs Marianne Skarpnord and last year&aposs Portugal Ladies Open champion Anne-Lise Caudal.

rn

Photo: Chang-Hee Lee by Anthony Powter