Two months ago, Cathy Morse pulled a ligament in her lower back while attempting to move a large house plant.
The mishap caused her to skip two tournaments and play poorly in another. But, Saturday, in the third round of the $350,000 LPGA Championship at Mason, Ohio, the 31-year-old New Yorker made up for lost time.
Morse, who started the day three strokes behind leader Laurie Rinker, shot a five-under-par 67 on the 6,202-yard Grizzly Course for a 54-hole total of 10-under-par 206. Heading into today's final round, she leads by one stroke over Rinker, who had a 71.
Morse, who made three birdies on the front side, finished strong with birdies on the 15th and 17th holes for the day's low score. She is two shots ahead of Ayako Okamoto, Jane Geddes and Lori Garbacz.
Okamoto, who has won twice and finished second in her last three tournaments, had a 70.
Geddes, the U.S. Women's Open champion, shot a 68 to move into contention after starting the day four shots off the lead.
Garbacz shot a 70.
A third-round 69 left Betsy King at 209. King is seeking a victory in the second leg of the LPGA's grand slam, having won the Nabisco Dinah Shore April 5.
Bobby Wadkins, seeking his first victory in 13 years on the PGA Tour, shot a seven-under-par 65 to surge into the third-round lead in the $600,000 Atlanta golf tournament.
Wadkins was at 17-under-par 199 after three trips over the hilly, 7,007-yard Atlanta Country Club course and held a one-shot lead over Canadian Dave Barr, who shot a 66, and Steve Pate, who had a 67.
"I've been here before," Wadkins said. "I know what I have to do. I just have to go out and do it."
Wadkins rolled in three birdie putts in the 12-20-foot range, but also two-putted three times from 10 feet or less.
Davis Love III, who carried a three-shot lead into the round, was hampered by an intestinal virus and struggled to a 72 that left him three shots behind Wadkins.
Love said his ailment left him weak and he added that if he felt as badly today, he might withdraw. His 36-hole score of 130 was the best on the tour this year.
Chip Beck shot a 68 and was alone at 203.
Within striking distance at 204, five shots off the pace, were Wadkins' brother Lanny, Fuzzy Zoeller and Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters champion.
Zoeller shot his third consecutive 68, Mize 69 and Lanny Wadkins 70. The three were tied with first-round leader George Burns, who shot 71.
Chi Chi Rodriguez tied the all-time professional record with eight consecutive birdies en route to a seven-under-par 65 that gave him a four-stroke lead going into the final round of a $250,000 Seniors tournament at Oklahoma City.
Rodriguez made birdies on Nos. 6 through 13 at the 6,708-yard, par-72 Quail Creek Golf and Country Club. The streak ended when he parred the 557-yard par-5 14th hole. He finished with a two-day total of 131, 13 under par.
Rodriguez broke the PGA Seniors Tour record of seven by Gene Littler in the 1983 Suntree tournament. Two members of the regular PGA Tour have put together eight consecutive birdies--Bob Goalby in the fourth round of the 1961 St. Petersburg Open, and Fuzzy Zoeller in the first round of the 1976 Quad Cities Open.