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Derksen maintains two-stroke Jeju lead

ROBERT-JAN Derksen of the Netherlands struggled in tough conditions but emerged with a three-over 75 and a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Ballantine's Championship.

Derksen, who also led by two strokes after the second round, had a 54-hole total of six-under 210 at the Pinx Golf Club on South Korea's Jeju Island.

The leading 10 players all shot over-par rounds yesterday.

Spain's Pablo Martin (74) was in second at four-under 212, followed by three players tied for third, four off the lead - South Koreans Kang Wook-soon (77) and Kang Kyung-nam (75) and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

South Africa's Ernie Els was in a five-way tie for sixth after a 73, five shots back of Derksen.

England's Lee Westwood shot 76 and was 10 strokes back, while American Fred Couples shot 81 and was at 10-over 226.

Play was suspended for three hours in the morning due to heavy fog and when it finally resumed, Derksen quickly got going with a birdie on the par-four five.

However, difficult wind conditions saw him drop shots on the sixth and ninth before he made amends with an eagle on the 10th straight after the turn.

Another birdie

Derksen bogeyed the 11th and mixed his card with another birdie on the 13th and four other bogeys recorded in his closing four holes.

"It was very tough. I think it was unfair and unplayable. I think there was definitely a lot of luck involved today," said Derksen.

In Morelia, Mexico, defending champion Lorena Ochoa shot her second straight bogey-free eight-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen of Norway at the Corona Championship on Friday.

Ochoa, the top-ranked Mexican star who also won the 2006 tournament at Tres Marias, eagled the par-five eighth hole and had six birdies. The fifth-ranked Pettersen shot a 64.

Second-ranked Tseng Yani of Chinese Taipei (66) and South Korea's Choi Na-yeon (69) were five strokes back at 11-under, Kristy McPherson (68) was 10-under, and Michelle Wie (71) was nine-under along with Sarah Lee (70), Karrie Webb (67), Irene Cho (67) and Brittany Lang (68).


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