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Sjodin, Tseng share top spot

TBO.com
Associated Press
The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 02:10 AM

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -

Sweden's Karin Sjodin shot a steady 4-under-par 68 through heavy wind while chasing down top-ranked Yani Tseng on Saturday, pulling even at 9 under heading into the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The dominant Tseng proved she's not unbeatable, showing visible frustration while posting a 71 as inconsistent as the wind that buffeted Mission Hills throughout her round.

While Tseng is a five-time major champion, the long-hitting Sjodin has never won in seven seasons on the LPGA Tour. Yet Sjodin made just one bogey in a remarkable round, briefly taking the outright lead down the stretch of the tour's first major of the year.

Haeji Kang, who also has never won on the LPGA Tour, was two back after struggling to a 72. She will join Tseng and Sjodin in today's final group.

World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi was among five players at 6 under.

Sjodin is among the few LPGA Tour pros who can compete with Tseng off the tee, but the Oklahoma State alumnus is ranked 216th. Sjodin first played the Kraft Nabisco on an exemption in 2005 while still in college, but had never made the cut until this weekend, when she will play in a final group for the first time in her LPGA Tour career.

Sjodin hasn't reached the enormous potential suggested by her driving abilities, but the 28-year-old smiled throughout her third round after beginning the day three strokes back. Sjodin has never finished higher than 19th in her 18 majors, and has only four top-10 finishes in her career.

For three rounds, Sjodin has matched Tseng, who has won the past two tournaments and three of five so far this season, leading 10 of the last 11 rounds on the LPGA Tour. The 23-year-old Tseng is shooting to become the youngest six-time major winner in golf history, three years younger than Tiger Woods.

PGA: Louis Oosthuizen shot his second straight 6-under 66 to reach 17 under and take a two-shot lead over Hunter Mahan after the third round of the Houston Open.

The 29-year-old South African shook off two early bogeys with four straight birdies on a sunny, windy afternoon at Redstone. Mahan had a 65, rebounding from a bogey on No. 9 with four birdies on the back nine.

Carl Pettersson (67) and Brian Davis (69) were three strokes back at 14 under. James Driscoll (71) was alone at 12 under.

Three-time major champion Ernie Els, who must win to qualify for the Masters, was in a group at 8 under. Els hasn't missed the Masters since 1993.

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