King gets better wake-up call

A day after shooting 78, 6-time major winner climbs within 7 of lead

LPGA Championship notebook

Golf

June 25, 2000|By Sam Borden | Sam Borden,SUN STAFF

WILMINGTON, Del. - Betsy King's Friday began around 4 a.m., when the 45-year-old woke up with a splitting headache and upset stomach. Her day got worse when she hacked it around DuPont Country Club later that morning, shooting a 7-over-par 78.

But yesterday was a different story for King, who slept quite well Friday night and came out for her third round with a spring in her step. She packaged four birdies with 14 pars and posted the first sub-par round of the day with a 67. The six-time major winner now sits at even par, seven shots back of leaders Juli Inkster and Wendy Ward.

"I hit it the best I've hit it all week," said King, who went home after her round and ordered in Chinese food Friday night as she shook off her illness from the day before. "[Yesterday] was just a lot better. I shot 65-66 on the weekend [at the 1991 Corning Classic] to win there once, and I was thinking I wouldn't mind doing that again. I guess I just missed with a 67 though."

Also bolstering King's performance is her hope to make the United States' Solheim Cup team, which will battle the host European team in October.

"It's just such a fun week and I'd love to be there," said King, who has played in every Solheim Cup.

Webb in contention

Top-ranked player Karrie Webb didn't shoot herself out of contention yesterday, but her 2-under 69 won't make it easy to catch the leaders during today's final round.

After losing a playoff to Annika Sorenstam in last week's Evian Masters, Webb has improved each day, but is still struggling.

"You've got to hit it on the right side of the hole to have a decent putt out here," said Webb, who missed the 18th green right and then missed her 15-foot par putt. "I'm still in contention but bogeying the last hole doesn't make my job any easier tomorrow."

Scranton in chase

Playing alongside Webb was Nancy Scranton, who navigated the 6,408-yard layout without a bogey. The Tampa native made two birdies on each side to give her a 67 and she'll start tomorrow's final round in fourth place, three strokes behind.

"I'm really excited about it because I love this golf course," said Scranton, who tied for third here last year. "I'd like to have the same frame of mind as I did today. If I can do that, it would be great. You can't control what everybody else is doing, but if I play as well as I did today, I've got a good chance."

Et cetera

A comeback victory today isn't out of the question, especially with Laura Davies and Webb still within striking distance. Davies has eight come-from-behind wins during her career, and Webb has nine. ... After making the 36-hole cut right on the number, Nancy Lopez shot a 73 yesterday and tied for 61st at 7 over par.

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