PAK, Matthew Tied at British Open

Sunday, August 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SUNNINGDALE, England (AP) _ Se Ri Pak moved into a tie for the lead with Catriona Matthew halfway through the final round of the Women's British Open.

Laura Diaz was one stroke behind after starting with six birdies Sunday, and Karrie Webb was fading fast.

While Matthew failed to improve her score at the turn on a sunny day without almost no wind, Pak and Diaz made up ground quickly.

Webb, who has won two majors this year, had been expected to make a big move. But she slid down the leaderboard in the year's last major in women's golf.

Diaz started six strokes behind Matthew, the third-round leader. Diaz covered the first six holes in 19 shots to wipe out that deficit before the Scot had even gone to the first tee.

But she dropped a stroke at the 16th to slip back. Matthew, reaching the turn, was tied at 9 under with Pak.

The South Korean began at 5 under and made an eagle-3 at the first. A three-time winner on the LPGA Tour this year, she followed with birdies at Nos. 10 and 12 and was 9 under after 13 holes.

Matthew had squandered a five-stroke advantage and led by one shot entering the last round. She opened with two birdies to move to 11 under, two ahead of the field. But bogies at the fifth and sixth pulled her back and she went to the turn at par-36.

Webb began the tournament Thursday with a 74 but moved up with rounds of 67 and 68. On Sunday, she birdied the first hole for the fourth straight day but her expected challenge never developed.

The winner of the U.S. Open and LPGA Championship bogeyed the fourth and sixth holes, and she was four off the lead by the 11th.

Dorothy Delasin, who captured last week's LPGA Classic, had a shot at a first major when she moved to 5 under _ four off the lead _ at the start of her final round.

On Sunday, she finished dead last of the 70 players who had made the cut.

After rounds of 71 and 69, the American appeared to have mastered the tricky links course. Then all went wrong for the 20-year-old Texan who carded four double bogeys in an 83 in the rain Saturday. She closed with a 75 for a 298 total.

``I just don't know what went wrong,'' she said. ``I got a couple of bad bounces and the ball just wouldn't go the way I wanted it to go. I can't blame the weather. It's just a case of getting used to these courses.

``After the second round I was playing well and then I got to 5 under. But then I started getting double bogeys and it felt like I was playing in quicksand.''