Former world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam outclassed top-ranked Lorena Ochoa in a head-to-head duel on Saturday to keeps a three-stroke lead after three rounds of the LPGA Michelob Ultra Open.
Swedish legend Sorenstam, a winner in 19 of the past 20 events she has led entering the final round, fired a two-under par 69 to stand on 14-under 199 after 54 holes at Kingsmill with South Korean Jeong Jang three back after a 69.
Sorenstam, who fired two of her three lowest rounds of the past two years on Thursday and Friday, seeks her 72nd career title and a US$330,000 top prize at the US$2.2 million event.
A birdie at the seventh and back-to-back 20-foot curving birdie putts at 13 and 14 gave Sorenstam a four-stroke lead on Jang after 17 holes.
But Sorenstam splashed her tee shot at 18 into the water and scrambled to rescue a bogey, her first of the week, to keep the same lead as she had when she began the round.
“I still love this place so I’m looking forward to a great day tomorrow,” Sorenstam said.
Prior to this season, Sorenstam had gone 15 months without winning an event.
Sorenstam would like to take a shot at regaining the top ranking.