American Cristie Kerr fired a five-under par 66 on Saturday to seize a two-stroke lead after the third round of the US$1.3 million LPGA Kingsmill Championship.
Kerr stood on 10-under 203 after 54 holes, with compatriot Stacy Lewis and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen sharing second on 205, American Angela Stanford on 206 and South Korea’s Lee Il-hee fifth on 207.
Thai teen Ariya Jutanugarn, who led after the first two rounds, stumbled to a 73 on Saturday, but still shared sixth with American Lizette Salas on 208.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, was tied for 20th after firing a three-round total of one-under 212
Ending the third round on an even par 71, Tseng shared her position with world No. 3 Choi Na-yeon of South Korea and five other players.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung carded six bogeys to share 72nd place on 221, eight-over-par.
Kerr took her lone bogey at the par-3 second hole, but answered with birdies at the par-5 third and par-4 fourth holes. She also birdied the par-5 seventh and began the back nine with another birdie.
Birdies at the par-3 13th and par-5 15th provided Kerr with her margin atop the leaderboard at the end of the day, as well as a boost to the mental game she said is important for her success.
“It goes back to the mental stuff for me,” Kerr said. “As long as I take care of the process tomorrow, let the chips fall where they may, take care of the mental stuff, that’s my goal,” she said.
Kerr said she has produced some of her career best ball-striking this week.
“If I get into my shots, you see the results,” she said. “You don’t win after three rounds though. I have to get into the flow out there tomorrow and see what happens.”