PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Cristie Kerr moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the Navistar LPGA Classic.
Kerr, who won the LPGA State Farm Classic and LPGA Championship – by 12 strokes – in consecutive starts in June, had a 17-under 199 total on the links-style Senator layout at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex. She opened with rounds of 65 and 67.
Katherine Hull (67) and Na Yeon Choi (70) were tied for second.
Kerr had a chance for a bigger lead, but had a double bogey on the 15th and bogeyed the 18th.
“That’s golf,” Kerr said. “Had I started out like that and finished with eight birdies, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it. We’ve just got to take the attitude that I had eight birdies and three bogeys, basically, and still 5 under even with the bad finish.”
After matching the course record with a 63 on Friday, Mika Miyazato shot a 71 to drop into a tie for fourth at 13 under with Se Ri Pak (67), Haeji Kang (67) and Hee Young Park (67).
Nicole Hage was amazed the Kerr was 20 under with four holes left Saturday.
“There’s only so much you can say about that,” said Hage, tied for 17th at 9 under after a 69. “She’s putting out of her mind out there. But there’s still tomorrow. Anything can happen.”
Hull birdied three of the final four holes.
“She’s playing really well right now,” Hull said about Kerr. “It’s going to take a super low number from someone behind in order to win. She’ll be tough to beat. I don’t think she’s made too many mistakes out there.”
Top-ranked Ai Miyazato was 9 under after a 68.