The Evian Masters was set for a thrilling finale after Wales’ Becky Brewerton, South Korea’s Kim In-kyung and Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson shared the lead after Saturday’s tight third round.
Brewerton, the leader from round one, carded a 69, Kim had a 68 and Gustafson made a big move with a joint best of day 67.
On 12 under par, the trio led by one from Japan’s Ai Miyazato, who three-putted the last for a 70, and American Cristie Kerr, who was the second player to shoot the day’s low score of 67, but the outcome remained wide open with 15 players within five shots of the leaders.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a 71 to sit at one-under after three rounds. Compatriots Teresa Lu and world No. 2 Yani Tseng both shot 74, with Lu on three-over and Tseng five-over.
Brewerton only got into the 90-strong field after winning the Open de Espana from start to finish last week, and she has shared the lead all three rounds at Evian.
While Brewerton had four birdies and a bogey, Gustafson made her move with a flawless round of three birdies and an eagle three at the long seventh.
Kim bogeyed the short second but then had a glorious run of four birdies in a row from the eighth and another at the short 17th. Kerr, who finished second in the US Women’s Open earlier this month, had a couple of birdies in the first half and then surged into contention with three more in the last five holes.
After an opening 75, Mexico’s world No.1 Lorena Ochoa has had back-to-back rounds of 69 but was nine shots off the lead on three under par. American teenager Michelle Wie was on the same mark after a 70.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER
Former champion Mark Calcavecchia took advantage of rain-softened greens to birdie nine-consecutive holes in the Canadian Open and snap a long-standing PGA Tour record on Saturday.
The American’s streak began on the par-three 12th hole and continued to the par-five No. 2. Calcavecchia began the rain-delayed second round on the 10th hole.
Calcavecchia combined his 65 with a opening round 71 to reach eight-under 136 as the US$5.1 million rain-plagued event finally lurched to its halfway point.
The tournament was headed for a 36-hole finish yesterday because of nearly 12 hours of rain delays over three days at the Glen Abbey Golf Club.
American Jason Dufner fired a nine-under 63 on Saturday morning to seize the lead at 13-under 131.
Jerry Kelly (67), Scott Verplank (67), Nathan Green (65) and Peter Tomasulo (68) are one shot adrift of Dufner.
South Africa’s Retief Goosen heads the list of six players who are tied at 10-under 134.
Mother Nature threw a wrench into organizers plans of getting a couple of hours of play in either the afternoon or early evening.
“They got a lot of work to do,” PGA Tour tournament director Steve Carman said of the Glen Abbey grounds crew.
AFP, MALMO, SWEDEN
Australia’s Marcus Fraser was hoping to celebrate his 31st birthday in style yesterday after moving into a one stroke lead with a third-round 70 at the Swedish Masters in Malmo on Saturday.
Fraser jumped up the leaderboard after starting the day five shots behind to go eight under and close in on his second Tour win after the 2003 Russian Open.
Joint overnight leader Lee Slattery posted a 75 to take a share of second, one shot behind, with Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl and local hope Martin Erlandsson.