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Nicholas, Lopez Lead Charge Against Tourney Scoring Record

Associated Press

The tournament scoring record could fall today in the U.S. Women’s Open.

With Alison Nicholas at 10-under-par 203 and Nancy Lopez at 7-under 206, the record of 8-under 272 set by Annika Sorenstam last year at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina is within reach.

The record for most shots under par was even more reachable. That mark of 9-under-par 279 was set on the par-72 La Grange, Ill., Country Club in 1981.

Through three rounds on the par-71, 6,365-yard Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, 12 golfers were under par. The best round was Karri Webb’s 6-under 65 on Saturday.

Embarrassed Nancy

Nancy Lopez appreciates all the cheers and adulation that have been showered on her through the years, and especially this week during the tournament.

But she admits that it seems a bit much sometimes.

“I sometimes get a little embarrassed when they’re rooting for me because I feel bad, maybe, for the other person, even though there’s a few people yelling for the other person,” she said. < Tough hole

The toughest hole Saturday during the third round was the par-4, 413-yard No. 6.

Of the 10 players on the leaderboard, only two, Lisa Hackney and Donna Andrews, managed to par the hole.

The top five scorers all had bogeys. It was the only bogey of the day, and just the third of the tournament, for third-round leader Alison Nicholas.

Juli Inkster and Liselotte Neumann both had double bogeys. Inkster knocked her approach shot into the water, and Neumann had to hit out of a hazard at the water’s edge.

The key to the difficulty was placement of the pin - far to the right of the dogleg layout. That meant to attack the hole for a birdie, a player had to clear the water but fall short of the cup for an uphill putt.

“I would have had to hit a high 3-iron, and I don’t have that shot in my bag on a downhill slope,” Nancy Lopez said.

Instead, Lopez and most of the others played safely to the right side of the green. Most of them, though, went too far to the right, then sent their long downhill putts far past the pin.

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