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Steinhauer in Familiar Spot Atop British Field

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From Associated Press

Laura Davies is leading a campaign to have the Women’s British Open declared a major championship, and she won’t get an argument from Sherri Steinhauer.

Steinhauer, the defending champion, rolled in a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday at Woburn, England, to forge a one-shot lead over two players going into today’s final round.

It was her sixth birdie in her bid to become the first player to win consecutive titles in the tournament since Debbie Massey in 1980-81.

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Steinhauer’s five-under-par 68 gave her a nine-under 210 for the tournament, a shot better than Cindy McCurdy and Australia’s Fiona Pike.

McCurdy, Steinhauer’s playing partner, shot 68 and Pike had a 71.

Steinhauer returned to the form that gained her the title at wind-swept Royal Lytham last year but admitted she needed a little luck.

“It was one of those days when I couldn’t do much wrong on the front nine,” she said after three birdies in a row beginning at No. 4. “I didn’t hit the ball very well, but I got away with a lot.”

She started the back nine with two birdies, then pitched to within five feet at the 18th.

Davies, a Briton who has won 56 tournaments but has said she would swap them all for one British Open title, is at 222.

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Two weeks after finishing first and second in the British Senior Open, Christy O’Connor of Ireland and John Bland of South Africa were tied for the second-round lead of the Senior PGA Tour’s Foremost Insurance Championship at Ada, Mich.

Bland birdied six of the final 13 holes in shooting a five-under-par 67. O’Connor had a 68 and both were at seven-under 137 heading into the final round.

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O’Connor, who won the British Senior Open, and Bland were one stroke ahead of Bruce Fleisher, the tour’s leading money winner; and two ahead of John Jacobs, defending champion George Archer and first-round co-leader Dick Lotz.

Fleisher, a five-time winner as a rookie on the senior tour, had a 70 and Jacobs had a 69.

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Dorothy Delasin, an 18-year-old from Daly City, Calif., cruised to a 4 and 3 win over Jamin Kang of South Korea to win the 99th U.S. Women’s Amateur championship at Asheville, N.C.

Delasin’s seven-under-par overall performance in 33 holes and her five-under 67 on her opening 18 were records for the event.

Kang, 19, was trying to become the third consecutive foreign-born winner of the Amateur, but Delasin got off to a fast start in their scheduled 36-hole final match and was never really threatened.

Delasin needed only 51 putts in 33 holes.

She led by two holes after the morning 18 and immediately went 3-up with a birdie on the 19th hole at the 6,202-yard Biltmore Forest Country Club.

In Front

WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN

At Woburn, England--Par 73, 54-Hole scores

Sherri Steinhauer: 71-71-68--210 -9

Cindy McCurdy: 73-70-68--211 -8

Fiona Pike: 70-70-71--211 -8

Annika Sorenstam: 69-71-72--212 -7

Iben Tinning: 68-69-75--212 -7

Mardi Lunn: 71-72-70--213 -6

SENIOR FOREMOST INSURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

At Ada, Mich.--Par 72, 36-Hole scores

John Bland: 70-67--137 -7

Christy O’Connor: 69-68--137 -7

Bruce Fleisher: 68-70--138 -6

John Jacobs: 70-69--139 -5

George Archer: 69-70--139 -5

Dick Lotz: 67-72--139 -5

Jim Holtgrieve: 72-68--140 -4

Noel Ratcliffe: 68-72--140 -4

Complete scores, D14

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