WILLIAMSBURG—— Hee-Won Han's earnings took a serious dip in 2007, as she made $1 million less than in 2006.
But the reason was well worth it.
Han, the 2001 LPGA rookie of the year, played just seven events in 2007 after giving birth to her son, Dale, now 22 months old. She returned to full-time competition last season, making the cut in 27 of her 29 events with a tie for third as her best finish, and is in position for her best result of 2009 at the Michelob Ultra Open.
Han, who has finished no better than tied for 20th this year, is tied for 13th at 6-under-par 207 after three rounds at Kingsmill.
Han last played in early April at the Kraft Nabisco, finishing tied for 28th, then jetted back to her native South Korea, where Dale stays with her family and her husband's family. Trips home are different now, Han said.
"(With) no babies, it's just practice harder, harder," she said. "Right now, it's playing with my son. (It's) almost 100 percent just staying with him. I don't have time. When he's asleep, then I'm going out with my friends."
Han said Dale may start traveling on Tour with her next season. For now, she squeezes in trips home between breaks in the LPGA schedule and is proud to report her son's first words: Mom and Dad.
Notable tee timesCo-leaders Cristie Kerr, who shot a 5-under 66 Saturday, and Lindsey Wright, who shot 7-under 64, will tee off at 12:30 p.m. in today's final pairing. Both players stand at 15 under for the tournament.
At 12:22 p.m., South Koreans In-Kyung Kim (14 under) and Song-Hee Kim (13 under) will tee off, ahead of Wendy Ward and Natalie Gulbis, who are tied at 10 under. Lorena Ochoa, who stumbled to a third-round 74 to fall to 10 under, will tee off with Shiho Oyama, tied for eighth at 8 under, at 12:06 p.m.
Ups and downsWhile Ochoa's 74 represented a third-round worst nine-stroke swing from her 65 Friday, Amy Yang went in the opposite direction. She shaved six strokes off her second-round 74 with a 68 that left her alone in 27th at 4 under.
Sarah Lee, who is tied for 20th at 5 under, had the strangest even-par round Saturday. She made five birdies but also had three bogeys a double bogey.
Co-leader Wright posted the day's best round with a 7-under 64, while Lorie Kane carded the highest score, a 78.
TV buzzThe Mich Ultra Open is part of an unusual double. A brother and sister who grew up in Newport News are working as stage managers at the same time at different sites. Greg Bicouvaris, who occasionally has been on the local airwaves for about 20 years, is the stage manager for ESPN2's coverage this weekend, which concludes with a 3 p.m. broadcast today. His sister, Valerie Bicouvaris Stamatakos, who now lives in Baltimore, will serve that role in ESPNU's coverage of top-seeded Virginia's first-round NCAA men's lacrosse game against Villanova. … Saturday's tournament coverage began 31 minutes later than its scheduled time on ESPN2, as an NCAA first-round lacrosse match between Johns Hopkins and Brown went into overtime.
Staff writers Sonny Dearth and Lynn Burke contributed to this report.