Alice Miller has a chance to sweep the first two major women’s golf tournaments of the year as she goes into today’s final-round battle with Nancy Lopez in the LPGA Championship at Mason, Ohio. Both are tied for the lead, but Miller, who won the first major of the year, the Dinah Shore tournament, says she won’t be dwelling on a double.
“To win a second major would be nice, but I can’t afford to think about winning,” she said. “I’ve got to keep my mind on the course.”
Miller rallied in Saturday’s third round with a five-under-par 67, best score of the day at the Nicklaus Sports Center, while Lopez, who led after each of the previous two rounds, struggled to match par at 72. Both have 54-hole totals of 208, eight-under par and two strokes in front of third-place Pat Bradley.
Miller, after a birdie on 16, holed a 30-foot wedge shot for a birdie on the 17th to move into a tie. Lopez had bogeys on 16 and 17.
Miller says she must continue her charge in the final 18 holes to win her first LPGA Championship.
“Par is a good round on Sunday, but I need to get into double figures--the more the better,” she said. “You can’t think about winning, just shooting good numbers.”
Dot Germain took over fourth place, shooting a 68 for a 211 total. Then came Lori Garbacz with 68--213.
The champion will collect $37,750 from the total purse of $250,000.
Unheralded Larry Mize shot a four-under-par 68 to surge to a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the $500,000 Kemper Open at Bethesda, Md.
Mize, who hasn’t won since 1972, is at 10-under-par 206, four shots ahead of second-place Corey Pavin, who gained four strokes on the day. Meanwhile, second-round leader George Archer stumbled on the first three holes and fell back in the pack.
With the wind whipping over the long fairways at Congressional Country Club, Mize shot a 35-33. He began the day at 138, one stroke behind Archer. Mize bogeyed the first hole, but recorded birdies on the 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 17th.
The 26-year-old Mize, who has won just once, in 1982, since joining the PGA Tour, said: “This is a first for me. This is the first time I have been the sole leader of a (PGA) tournament after three days. I’ve got to go out and shoot another sub-par round and not make any mistakes. . . . I can’t go out there and just guide my way around.
Pavin, a second-year pro out of UCLA who won the Colonial National Invitational two weeks ago, birdied six holes and bogeyed two.
“I just had a four-stroke lead going into the final round of the Colonial,” Pavin said. “So, I know what’s going through Larry’s mind. . . . I’ve got to go out and maybe take a chance or two and not do anything silly.”
Lennie Clements and Jim Nelford each were at 211, a stroke ahead of Bill Glasson and Archer.
Archer, 45, who joined the tour in 1964, bogeyed his first three holes, with the ball hitting the lip of the cup and rolling away on both the first and third. With five bogeys and two birdies, he ended with a 75 after a 69 Friday.