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Golf roundup: Ochoa leads Nabisco logjam

RANCHO MIRAGE -- The only consolation for Lorena Ochoa was a one-shot lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Just when it looked as though Ochoa would seize control of the first major of the year, she three-putted for bogey on two of the final four holes and settled for a 1-under 71 Saturday, with Hee-Won Han (70) in second place. Han will play in the final group of a major for the first time.

The Mexican star must know by now that this major won't come easily.

Despite opening the back nine with three straight birdies to build a two-shot lead and loads of momentum, Ochoa gave it away with an aggressive three-putt on the 15th, and by chopping her way up the 18th in the rough and the sand.

U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr was all but forgotten until finishing a 66 before the leaders made the turn, leaving her in the group only two shots behind.

Annika Sorenstam suffered stomach cramps so severe that she nearly walked off the course after 10 holes, but tried to gut it out and is glad she did. Sorenstam had four birdies on the back nine for a 73, and was only four shots behind.

Going into the final round, 14 players were separated by five shots. Seven of those players are major champions.

Ochoa looked disgusted as she stood on the edge of the 18th green, staring up at the blazing sky with her hands on hips. She has twice felt jilted at Mission Hills, blowing a three-shot lead in the final round in 2006, and squandering another good chance last year when she whiffed a chip shot and made a quadruple bogey on the 17th hole of the third round.

There was no meltdown Saturday, just a a slow retreat to a suddenly packed leaderboard.

"I'm OK," she said. "I'm in the last group and I have a chance to win a major."

Kerr was joined at 212 by Seon Hwa Lee (68) and Maria Hjorth, who bogeyed the 18th hole for a 72. Another shot back was a group that included Heather Young, who was tied with Ochoa to start the third round and was in the lead by herself at the turn until she stumbled to a 74.

Sorenstam turned in the most inspiring round. She seemingly took herself out of the tournament with a 40 on the back nine, and was sick enough to quit. She told her caddie, Terry McNamara, that she did not want to walk off the course, but she felt that was her only option. Even after a birdie on No. 10, she laid on her back, feeling nausea.

"A few birdies kept me going," she said.

One of those came from a bunker shot on No. 15, but she finished weakly, missing a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th that ended her streak of 16 consecutive rounds under par.

Even so, she was at 214 along with Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen, who captured her first major last year at the LPGA Championship, made the cut on the number Friday and was 10 shots behind. Among the first to play Saturday morning when the wind was tame, she holed out with a 6-iron for eagle on the tough seventh hole and shot a 65, the best score of the tournament.

PGA TOUR, at Humble, Texas -- Johnson Wagner shot a 3-under 69 Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Chad Campbell after the third round of the Houston Open.

The 28-year-old Wagner, winless in 43 career starts, had a 15-under 201 total.

Campbell, playing one group ahead of Wagner, birdied five of his first nine holes for a 65. Charley Hoffman (69) and Bob Estes (64) were three behind at 204.

Defending champion Adam Scott, who shared the first-round lead with Wagner, withdrew Saturday morning because of strep throat.

CHAMPIONS TOUR, at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- Mark Wiebe shot a bogey-free 4-under 68 for a 135 total to take a three-stroke lead over Scott Hoch in the Cap Cana Championship. After starting his round by making seven straight pars, Wiebe holed out a wedge shot from 45 yards for an eagle on the par-4 eighth hole and birdied the par-4 ninth.

Hoch, a two-time winner on the Champions Tour this year, shot a 67. Jay Haas (69) and Eduardo Romero (68) were four behind Wiebe.

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