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Pettersen pushes lead to 7 in Thailand

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Suzann Pettersen gave herself some final-round breathing room - and maybe some time to savor her dominating run.

With a seven-stroke lead, the Norwegian star also likely took the suspense out of her bid for a second straight victory and third in four weeks.

Topping a tour leaderboard for the fifth straight round and eighth in the last 11, Pettersen left everyone else behind Saturday in the Honda LPGA Thailand, birdieing five of the last seven holes for a bogey-free 9-under 63.

"Like I said all week, I'm not trying to plan ahead of me," Pettersen said. "I'm just trying to take what I have right there. I had some short birdie putts. I made some long ones. I'm just trying to play tee to green solid and take my chances. When you see it and feel it, sometimes you can just execute it, which is really nice."

Pettersen had a 20-under 196 total. She had two-stroke advantages the first two days at Siam Country Club, opening with rounds of 65 and 68 on the Pattaya Old Course.

"I have to go out and do my job tomorrow," Pettersen said. "It was nice I could actually extend my lead with people pushing me, shooting 66. Tomorrow's not going to be that easy. I have to shoot low. It would be nice to get a career low after four rounds. But, I have to go out there tomorrow and play really good, and I will.

English Solheim Cup teammate Laura Davies was second, a stroke ahead of American Paula Creamer. Davies and Creamer, paired together in the group ahead of Pettersen and Canadian Alena Sharp, had matching 66s. Sharp (72) was 9 under along with Australians Rachel Hetherington (68) and Katherine Hull (68).

"Six under is a good round, just not good enough this week because Suzann's gone mad," Davies said. "I have to shoot 9, 10 under and hope she doesn't shoot a really low round again."

Creamer attracted a large gallery.

"I didn't expect to have so many fans," Creamer said. "It's good to have them come to support me and respect my golf, though it gives a bit of pressure because I want to play well before them."

Annika Sorenstam shot her second straight 68 to get to 8 under. The 10-time major champion is making her first start since early September and eighth since returning from neck and back injuries. She won the last of 69 tour titles in September 2006.

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