PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Suzann Pettersen of Norway remained atop the leaderboard Saturday as she fired a sizzling nine-under 63 to extend her lead to seven strokes going into the last round of the $1.3 million Honda LPGA Thailand tour event.
The day also saw two U.S. players, Stacy Prammanasudh and Christina Kim, score hole-in-ones on the eighth hole.
Pettersen enjoyed a bogey-free day, firing nine birdies – at holes 1, 2, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17 and 18- to stay on course for back-to-back titles after winning in South Korea last week.
“I never try to plan ahead. I just play what the course gives me. I tried to play solid and execute my shots,” said the world No 4, whose total through three rounds was a 20-under 196.
“It’s good to extend my lead,” said Pettersen, who is seven shots ahead of England’s Laura Davies. “Tomorrow is not going to be easy. I have to shoot a low round and play aggressive.”
The veteran Davies hit her second straight six-under for 13-under 204 on aggregate to move into second place in the tournament at the Siam Country Club.
“I have to shoot nine or 10 under to catch up with her, which is not going to be easy,” said the 44-year-old Davies. “Hopefully Suzann won’t have a low round score tomorrow.
Paula Creamer shot a six-under 66 for a combined 12-under 204 to take sole possession of third place. The American world No 6 blasted seven birdies against one bogey, on the fifth hole.
“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,” said the game’s glamour girl, who hoisted one title this year in the SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
After holding the second spot for two days, Alena Sharp of Canada slipped to tied fourth place after an even-par round. Her total score of nine-under 207 placed her level with Australia’s Katherine Hull and Rachel Hetherington.
Trailing them at seventh was ten-time Major champion Annika Sorenstam of Sweden who carded a four-under for an eight-under 208 total, putting her in the same position as Thai-American Stacy Prammanasudh.