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Green Regains Lead at Corning

May 23, 1998

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) _ This time, Tammie Green didn’t fade.

Green shot a 6-under-par 66 Saturday at the Corning Classic to overtake Brandie Burton and gain a two-shot lead after three rounds. Green was at 203, 13 under par, heading into Sunday’s final round. Burton, who began the day with a three-shot lead, was alone in second and Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson was third, another two strokes back.

Emilee Klein and Nancy Harvey of Scotland were at 208. Mardi Lunn, who shot a 67 Saturday, was at 209, tied with surprising Susan Florin, Britain’s Stephanie Lowe and Dottie Pepper.

Green, who lost a sudden-death playoff here last year to Rosie Jones, faltered at the start Saturday with a bogey. A little pep talk was all she needed to bounce back.

``I was a little disappointed _ I could have kicked myself _ after No. 1 and told myself to get playing,″ said Green, who responded with seven birdies and no more bogeys. ``I was able to concentrate pretty well all day.″

With the sun shining brightly and temperatures in the 70s after two days of clouds and cold, Green was able to stay out of trouble despite a gusty breeze.

``It was kind of like one of those great rounds that could have been really great,″ said Green, who birdied the par-3 No. 15 to take the lead. ``Over the past three days I’ve been making a lot of birdies. It’s a matter of getting those opportunities, and as long as I can continue to get them I’m going to make a few of them. I feel like my game’s there. It’s just a matter of if it’s going to be there tomorrow.″

Burton’s game deserted her on Saturday. One day after a sizzling 66, she finished with an erratic 71. After getting three birdies on the first six holes, she had three bogeys and a birdie on the next seven.

``I was really pretty much up-and-down,″ Burton said. ``I played pretty well on the front side, felt pretty comfortable, then kind of just lost my rhythm. I’m still confident. I was just a tad off today. I had some really tough chip shots to get close. That’s what made it difficult.″

Still, she was atop the field for a change, and that felt good for someone who hasn’t won on the tour in five years.

``Winning would be the biggest confidence booster I could use right now,″ said Burton, LPGA rookie of the year in 1991. ``I haven’t played well the past couple of months. Mentally, it’ll do me worlds of good to win. If it doesn’t happen, mentally I’m still going to be stronger after this week just being in contention again.″

Jones, bidding to win this event for the third straight year, watched her putter desert her and managed only a 71 on Saturday.

``I had a lot of 5- and 6-footers that didn’t go,″ said Jones, who trailed Green by seven strokes. ``I just couldn’t get it to the hole. I wasn’t aggressive enough at all today. Hopefully, I’ll be a little more aggressive with my putter because I just couldn’t get it to roll. I left everything about a foot and a half short, and they’re not going to go in if they’re short.″

Janice Moodie of Scotland, who joined the LPGA only in October, wore a big grin when she finished. She eagled No. 2 on her way to the best round of the day, a bogey-free 65, and was tied for 10th at 210 after barely making the cut.

Perhaps only Susan Florin wore a bigger smile on this day. For a conditional player who has to qualify for every event she enters, life on the golf course was sweet.

``I feel like everything’s coming together,″ said Florin, playing in only her second tournament of the year. ``I like the position that I’m in because it allows me to be more aggressive. That’s kind of been my key the whole week _ just be aggressive. Basically, I’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. If I can keep that positive attitude, I can score another round like today.

``I really had no expectations this week. I guess that’s the key.″

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