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Creamer Leads With 18 To Go

February 27, 2009

Creamer birdied 12, 13 and 14 to distance herself from the field.

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) -- American Paula Creamer had three consecutive birdies on the back nine for a 5-under 67 on Saturday and a three-stroke lead heading into the final round of the $1.45 million of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

The world's No. 3 player delighted the Thai galleries with birdies on holes Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to finish with a three-round total of 11-under 205, putting her ahead of Lorena Ochoa (68) and former Duke star Brittany Lang (71).

"I started off with a birdie on the first hole which is always a good start," Creamer said. "From there on, I just had a lot of good iron shots. I hit more greens today than I had the other two days.

Ochoa, the top-ranked Mexican star making her first start of the season, started with a bogey but then had five birdies to get within striking distance.

"Sometimes when you start off bad you get angry and motivated at the same time," Ochoa said. "Now I'm in a good position in the tournament."

Lang led after two bogey-free rounds. She bogeyed the fourth, but was still in contention for her first LPGA Tour win.

"I left a lot of strokes out there and feel very confident that I will go out tomorrow and shoot a low score," Lang said.

Australian Karrie Webb (69) was fourth, a shot ahead of Hee Young Park of South Korea, Japan's Mika Miyazato and American Angela Stanford. Stanford won the season-opening SBS Open on Feb. 14.

Creamer expects a challenge in the final round.

"I can't control other players," she said. "I can only control my game out there. I have a lot of confidence about how I am playing. I will have to go out tomorrow and play the way I have played for the last two days."