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Cristie Kerr takes eight-stroke lead into final day of LPGA Championship

NEWSWIRE

She shoots a third-round 69 to move within striking distance of her second major title.

June 26, 2010

Holding an eight-stroke lead and 18 holes away from a second major title, Cristie Kerr wasn't about to declare victory in the LPGA Championship.

"I can sit here and say, 'Give me the trophy now.' But it's not going to happen," Kerr said after shooting a 69 Saturday. "I've got one more round of golf to play."

Kerr's focus was on display during a rain-soaked round at the Locust Hill Country Club in Pitttsford, N.Y., where she went to 13-under 203 entering the final round Sunday. Her advantage tops the previous largest entering the final round of the LPGA Championship — Mickey Wright led by seven in 1961 on her way to a title.

And Kerr fell just short of matching the largest 54-hole lead at an LPGA major set by Babe Zaharias, who had a 10-stroke lead at the 1954 U.S. Women's Open.

Mika Miyazato double-bogeyed No. 18 to finish at 72 and fall into a three-way tie for second with rookie Azahara Munoz and Jimin Kang after both finished with 70s in the LPGA Tour's second major of the year. The only others within 10 shots of Kerr are Song-Hee Kim, who shot a 69 Saturday, and Jiyai Shin (70), who are four under for the tournament; and American Karrie Webb (69) at three-under 213.

Justin Rose shot a 68 and held a three-stroke lead over Ben Curtis heading into the final round of the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn.

Curtis shot a 64 at the TPC River Highlands to trim Rose's advantage and Vaughn Taylor (67) is another two strokes back at 11-under 199.

Dan Forsman shot a six-under 66 and gained a one-shot lead over Brad Bryant after two rounds at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, N.Y.

Forsman was at 12-under 132 and lucky to be there alone after Bryant (67) bogeyed the final hole. Russ Cochran (66) and first-round leader Wayne Levi (69) were tied at 10 under.

ETC

Carlos Zambrano no longer has a spot in the Chicago Cubs' rotation after a wild outburst in the dugout that led to an indefinite suspension from the team.

Manager Lou Piniella said he expects the volatile pitcher to return at some point after a blow-up with Derrek Lee on Friday that put his future with the team in doubt. Piniella, speaking before Saturday's game, said Zambrano will pitch out of the bullpen when he returns, and the move is "not short-term, that's for sure." Tom Gorzelanny will take his spot in the rotation.

Chaunte Howard Lowe shimmied. Did a little jig. Led the crowd to clap encouragement for her jumps. Collapsed sobbing in the pit and lay there nearly a minute when she broke the U.S. high jump record on her 12th attempt of the competition at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

After expending all that psychic and physical energy in winning a third straight U.S. high jump title in 90-degree heat and swirling winds, Lowe went to the long jump pit and crushed her old personal best to finish second in that event.

She insists her priority is the high jump, but Saturday's performances have encouraged Lowe to think about the unusual jump double at the 2011 worlds and 2012 Olympics.

This was believed to be the first time since Babe Didrikson in 1932 that a woman had won medals in both events at nationals.

"This is really my trial to see how I will be able to handle both at a major championship," said Lowe, 26, a former California prep star at Riverside's J.W. North High who now lives in Atlanta.

A month ago, she high jumped 6 feet, 8 1/4 inches to break the 22-year-old national record. Saturday, Lowe upped it to 6-8 3/4.

It was a day of positive numbers for Kyle Busch, winner of Saturday's New England 200 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., but Danica Patrick rolled snake eyes in her return to stock car racing.

Busch pulled away after a restart on Lap 183, when Joey Logano — in second place at the time — spun his tires and allowed series points leader Brad Keselowski to surge into second place. Busch beat Keselowski to the finish line by .644 seconds.

Patrick's troubles started when she was racing beside Morgan Shepherd on Lap 6. Shepherd had the inside lane but slid into Patrick's Chevrolet and spun it, damaging the left side of the car.

Patrick lost a lap on pit road. Ultimately, she finished 30th, five laps down.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left foot.

The 2008 AL MVP fouled a ball off his foot during Friday night's 5-4 loss at San Francisco and was removed from the game. Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said tests Saturday revealed a non-displaced fracture in the middle of Pedroia's left foot.

According to ESPN, the Red Sox reacted quickly, acquiring Eric Patterson from the Oakland Athletics for a minor league pitcher, Fabian Williamson. Patterson can play second base and the outfield.

Rod Thorn is stepping down as president and general manager of the New Jersey Nets.

A person with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press on Saturday that the 69-year-old Thorn will resign next month. It was unclear whether he would remain with the team in another capacity.

Thorn is not being forced out by new owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who wants him to stay on.

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