Ya Ni Tseng found her "#1 in the world gear" during moving day today at the HSBC Women's Champions, firing a 6-birdie 67 that pulled her within 3 shots of the trio that was on top of the leaderboard after 36 holes, Angela Stanford, Katie Futcher, and Jenny Shin. Futcher was the 1st and so far only player in the field to get to -10, but her bogey on the final hole, only her 2nd all week, cost her solo possession of the lead heading into the final round, as Stanford extended her bogey-free run to 17 holes and counting (after making only her 2nd bogey of the week on the very 1st hole) and Shin birdied 18 to join them at -9.
Jenny's better-known namesake, Ji-Yai Shin, shot her 3rd-straight 70 of the week to join Tseng and Na Yeon Choi at -6, but all 3 of these big-name players got passed by none other than Shanshan Feng, who snuck into solo 4th at -7 by making birdies on 4 of her last 10 holes of bogey-free golf to post a 69 today. Feng didn't have the most impressive closing charge--that belonged to Vicky Hurst, who bounced back from an awful start (5 bogeys in her 1st 6 holes) with 6 birdies in her last 10 holes of bogey-free golf to join Mika Miyazato, Ji-Hee Lee, and Sun Young Yoo at -3, probably too far back to get into contention tomorrow--but the only Chinese golfer on the LPGA will be playing alongside Taiwan's Tseng and Korea's Ji-Yai Shin, in the penultimate pairing on Sunday. With In-Kyung Kim at -5 and So Yeon Ryu at -4 playing alongside Choi, and Ai Miyazato and Hee Young Park at -4 alongside Mika-chan, the winner will most likely come from someone in the last 4 threesomes.
Further down the leaderboard, there's plenty of disappointment to go around. Sure, Maria Hjorth broke 70 for the 1st time all week, and Stacy Lewis bounced back from yesterday's awful 75 with a sizzling 68 to claw her way back to -2 through 54 holes. But Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr both blew up (in a bad way), Amy Yang is still stuck in the middle of the pack after wasting a great 1st round, Karrie Webnb can't get anything going this week, and Michelle Wie, Mina Harigae, and Tiffany Joh continue to play ugly golf.
But let's focus on the big questions that only tomorrow's play can answer. Will Tseng make it 2 in a row? Will Jenny Shin join Jessica Korda as teen titans on tour? Will Angela Stanford finally get LPGA win #5? Will Katie Futcher break through? Will Shanshan Feng translate last year's winning ways on the JLPGA into her 1st LPGA victory in Singapore? Will Ji-Yai Shin fight her way back into the winner's circle and reestablish herself as the top Korean on tour, or will Na Yeon Choi or In-Kyung Kim put in their own claims with a win of their own? Will So Yeon Ryu or Hee Young Park make a huge statement tomorrow? Or will the fightin' Miyazatos feed off each other's energy and draft their way to the front of the pack? Can't wait to find out!