EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Becky Brewerton of Wales shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday to grab a share of the Evian Masters lead for the third consecutive round.
Brewerton heads into Sunday’s final round tied with Sophie Gustafson of Sweden – who had a 5-under 67 on Saturday – and In-Kyung Kim of South Korea at 12-under 204.
Brewerton led through all four rounds when she won the Spanish Open last week.
“I feel like I’m getting used to it now. This week is different pressures, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” Brewerton said. “It was definitely a bit more of a struggle today. I wasn’t quite as flowing with my game as I had been over the previous two days. But I have to say my short game was unbelievable on the back nine, so (I) take confidence from that.”
American Michelle Wie improved her chances of qualifying for the Solheim Cup against Europe next month, clenching a fist as her birdie putt on the 18th crept toward the hole before dropping in for a 70 that got her to 3 under for the tournament and a tie for 23rd.
Wie has improved steadily after Thursday’s opening round of 73, but the 19-year-old is “frustrated” by her fluctuating form, with five birdies and three bogeys on Saturday underlining her erratic play.
“I couldn’t get anything going again, I hit a birdie, and then a bogey,” she said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can get things going.
“It’s little things here and there. I don’t think I’m far off, but in golf that means a lot.”
Kim’s birdie attempt on the 18th rolled over the hole and cost her the outright lead.
“I had a chance, 8 feet, maybe 10 feet, it was uphill,” Kim said. “I knew I had to hit it (hard), (to) make sure it got there, but I kind of mis-hit it. It was bumpy as well.”
Ai Miyazato of Japan, the joint second-round leader with Brewerton and Na Yeon Choi of South Korea, bogeyed the final hole to drop a shot back. Choi could only make par and is three shots back at 9 under.
The 26-year-old Brewerton, who won the English Women’s Open in 2007, is hoping to keep her composure on the eve of what would be a huge win. But she still finds herself looking at the list of previous Evian Masters winners – which includes former U.S. Women’s Open champions Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies – and dreaming of victory.
“I must admit, I was a bit nervous on the first couple of holes,” she said. “I was trying to lie there last night and try to imagine what it might be like (to win the tournament).”
Brewerton had a bogey on the third hole, but recovered to make three birdies on the front nine.
Defending champion Helen Alfredsson of Sweden (68), who is bidding for a fourth Evian title, improved to 9 under.