Jang sets pace among brilliant Korean moves

The parents of the 15-year- old sensation Michelle Wie moved from Korea to Hawaii and she is on course to become the biggest thing in golf since Tiger Woods. Yesterday it might have been the royal Wie at Royal Birkdale in the third round of the Weetabix British Open but for the presence of one Jeong Jang.

In fact, the leaderboard would have had photo-finish written all over it but for Jang's pyrotechnics in the odd shower. In the first round, when almost everybody else wilted in the face of conditions that could have been transposed from December, Jang, all five feet of her, weathered the storm and came in with a four under par 68.

She improved on that in the second round with a 66 that advanced her to 10 under and sole occupancy at the top of the leaderboard. Yesterday, going off last with the amateur Louise Stahle (the Swede turns professional tomorrow), Jang dropped a shot at the first and the impression was that she would drift further south down the leaderboard.

Far from it. She went to the turn in 32 with birdies at the third, the fourth, the seventh and the ninth by which stage she was seven strokes clear of the field. Somebody had to close the gap and it was left to the world No 1, old money bags herself, Annika Sorenstam. At 34 the Swede, almost a matriarch given the number of whippersnappers in the tournament, remains young at heart. The winner of nine majors and $17m, Sorenstam finished at eight under par for the championship following a 66 yesterday - six birdies, no passes - and she believes she has a chance today of taking a second Weetabix.

She completed the round with two birdies but with the 17th and 18th par fives of moderate length that was almost par for the course. Laura Davies also shot 66 thanks to a sting in the tail that a scorpion would have been proud of. Davies, who won the championship here in 1986, came home birdie, eagle, eagle, picking up five shots in three holes.

Even so, at four under for the tournament, Davies would have to come up with the odd albatross and any other ornithological wonder to stand an earthly of catching Jang. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Korean, who lives in Orlando, Florida, is that she has never been in this position before.

A late starter, she only took up the game at 13. In six years on Tour as a professional she has never won so much as a fortune cookie although she was fourth in the Weetabix in 2002 - her best finish in a major championship - and she once finished second, her best ever result, in a tournament called the Kellogg Classic. A cereal performer, and a win here today would easily trump her achievement in the Kellogg.

Jang, who qualified for the US Tour at her first attempt, gave the distant pack a glimmer of hope when she made a rare error at the short 12th. She found a pot bunker and duly paid the penalty by dropping a shot to revert to 12 under par. But she was not in the doldrums (the remarkable scoring here was down in part to the absence of a decent breeze) for long.

She repaired the damage with her fifth birdie of the round at the 15th to close with a 69 and at 13 under par for the championship she takes a five-stroke cushion into today's final round.

Apart from Sorenstam, the only other player to get to eight under was the American Cristie Kerr, who also came in with 69. A stroke further back is another American, the in-form Paula Creamer, who got to seven under for the tournament following a 65, a score which was matched by England's Karen Stupples, the defending champion, and the promising young Welsh player, Becky Brewerton.

Brewerton said it was the round of her life. "I have had a few 66s and had one here in the Birkdale Cup when I was an amateur but this is the first time I've ever shot a 65," she said. "They were perfect conditions for scoring."

Wie concurred but her second successive 67 has left her with a mountain to climb.

Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape