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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Daniel close to history
Beth Daniel sinks a birdie on the par three eighth hole
Beth Daniel is close to making history

Beth Daniel is now one round of golf away from becoming the oldest woman to win a major title.

Daniel, without a victory in seven years, kept her distance with three straight birdies and closed out her round of three under par with a 25ft birdie putt.

That meant the 45-year-old expanded her lead to four strokes over Se Ri Pak.

Currently the oldest woman to win a major is the late Babe Zaharias, who was 42 years 11 months when she captured the 1954 US Women's Open.


If I win it's not going to make my career - If I lose it's not going to break my career
Beth Daniel
Pak, who won the LPGA Championship for her first career victory in 1998, did well to keep pace with a woman nearly twice her age.

The 24-year-old Korean had only one bogey in a round of 68, sticking to her plan of hitting fairways and greens.

Not much went right for Karrie Webb, who won the LPGA Championship last year to complete the career Grand Slam.

She struggled with her swing, got nasty lies in the rough and could not get enough putts to fall in a round of 72.

Webb and Kim Saiki - along with the leading pair - were the only players who remained under par going into the final round.

But Daniel still has plenty of work to do to go down in history.

This is only the third time she has held at least a share of the 54-hole lead in a major championship, and the first since the 1983 Nabisco Championship.

Her only major victory came at the 1990 LPGA Championship.

"If I win, it's not going to make my career. If I don't win, it's not going to break my career," said Daniel.

"My motivation is always to win."


Third round scores of the LPGA Championship at the Dupont Country club:
(US unless stated)

205 Beth Daniel 67 70 68
209 Se Ri Pak (Kor) 71 70 68
211 Kim Saiki 71 71 69, Karrie Webb (Aus) 68 71 72
213 Michele Redman 74 69 70
214 Carin Koch (Swe) 68 73 73, Juli Inkster 69 75 70
215 Laura Diaz 73 71 71, Karen Stupples 75 70 70, Michelle McGann 71 72 72
218 Vicki Goetze-Ackerman 72 72 74, Grace Park (Kor) 72 73 73, Barb Mucha 70 73 75, Silvia Cavalleri (Ita) 72 73 73, Kathryn Marshall (Gbr) 73 73 72, Catriona Matthew (Gbr) 70 73 75, Akiko Fukushima (Jpn) 71 71 76
219 Natalie Gulbis 72 72 75, Karen Weiss 70 74 75, Kelly Robbins 70 75 74, Annika Sorenstam (Swe) 70 76 73

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