Bogey reduction will give Delasin a chance
The defending champion said she's confident.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Although she trailed leader Se Ri Pak by four strokes, defending champion Dorothy Delasin wasn't ready to concede her Giant Eagle LPGA Classic crown without a fight.
On Saturday, Delasin birdied the par-4 16th hole and finished with her second consecutive 3-under-par 69 to join four others in a tie for fourth place after two rounds at Squaw Creek Country Club.
When asked if she is playing well enough to shoot a 5-under score to put pressure on Pak, the 20-year-old responded, "Yes. I just have to minimize my bogeys.
"I'm playing pretty solid and I'm confident with my game," said Delasin, who won last year's tournament at Avalon Lakes.
Delasin, who came from behind to win last year, just missed qualifying for her first final pairing on a tournament's last day.
She said she doesn't know if she's missing anything by not being one of the final three golfers today.
"To be honest, I don't know" if she would prefer to be in the final threesome. "I haven't ever been in the last group, so I don't really know how that would feel."
Delasin said she's not affected by how well her playing partners (Becky Iverson and Marianne Morris) will be doing.
"I'm just going to go out there and play my game," she said.
Delasin's round Saturday started sluggish with bogeys on the second and third holes to drop to 1-under.
She recovered those two strokes on the front nine with birdies on the fifth and eighth holes.
Turns up heat: After the turn, Delasin turned up the heat after her tee shot on No. 11 landed in a bunker to the right.
Delasin made one of her finest shots of the afternoon, sending the ball out of the trap onto the green about 12 feet from the pin.
On No. 13, Delasin settled for a birdie when her eagle putt attempt stopped about 2 feet short of the hole.
Another birdie on No. 15 tied Delasin with playing partner Tammie Green at 6-under as Pak entered the clubhouse.
But her bogey on No. 15 briefly took the wind out of her sails.
"I thought it was kind of a waste," Delasin said of her birdie putt attempt that was far short of the hole.
"I should have given myself an opportunity to save par, but I didn't because I left it so far short."
She recovered with a birdie on No. 16 with a 10-foot downhill putt. "It was a real pick-me-up," Delasin said. "That's the one that put me back in contention."
Delasin said overcoming Pak's four-stroke lead won't be an easy task. "She's going to go for it, so I'm going to go for it, too.
"The world's best players are going to be out there playing for one title," Delasin said. "Everybody is going to play [well] tomorrow, so I'm going to see if I can play better than them."
Delasin said a really low score by someone "is possible unless they put the pins in really tough positions."
She said Saturday's pin placements weren't "as bad as [Friday's]. It was a little easier, but since I've said that, they'll probably put them in tougher positions."
Delasin said she plans to avoid looking at the course scoreboards today "unless my caddie says OK. He usually tells me not to look at it."