Swedish Solheim Cup star Caroline Hedwall fired a six-under par 64 on Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open.
Hedwall, seeking the first LPGA title of her career, had seven birdies and just one bogey at Royal Mayfair Golf Club on Saturday and had a 54-hole total of 10-under par 200.
She was one stroke in front of Solheim Cup teammate Suzann Pettersen of Norway who carded a five-under 65 and defending champion Lydia Ko, the New Zealand teen phenomenon who posted a 67.
Ko’s victory in this event last year at the age of 15 years and four months made her the youngest player to win an LPGA title.
Although Hedwall has never won on the US women’s tour, she is a five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and arrived in Canada after a blockbuster performance in Europe’s Solheim Cup match play triumph over the US in Colorado.
She was the only player on either team to play all possible five matches and became the first player in the history of the trans-Atlantic match play duel to go 5-0.
“I was a little tired on Monday, Tuesday and also Wednesday, but when the tournament starts I think last week just gave me a lot of energy and self confidence, so I can’t feel anything,” the 24-year-old Hedwall said.
Her playing partners, Pettersen (65) and Brittany Lincicome (66) had solid rounds of their own and were two of only five players, including Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, to shoot 66 or better in the third round.
“It was definitely inspiring playing with Suzann and Brittany today,” Hedwall said. “We hit it close and we made a lot of putts, so it was a lot of fun.”
Hedwall was due to be paired with Pettersen and Ko in the final round.
Second-round co-leaders Inbee Park of South Korea and Cristie Kerr of the US both slipped back, Park’s four-over 74 leaving her six strokes adrift in a group - including Tseng — on 206, and Kerr falling seven off the pace with a 75.
World No. 1 Park, winner of three major titles this year, had one birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-3 11th.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung was tied for 48th on 212 after a round of 72.
Additional reporting by staff writer
AFP, JERSEY CITY, New Jersey
Gary Woodland rolled in a four-foot par putt on the 18th to post a three-under 68 on Saturday and take a share of the lead at The Barclays with fellow American Matt Kuchar.
Kuchar, who led after the second round concluded on Saturday morning, fired a one-under 70 in round three.
He and Woodland finished 54 holes at 12-under par 201.
Another marathon day on Saturday got the tournament back on schedule for the first time since weather delays totalling nearly six hours on Thursday.
Kevin Chappell moved into contention by firing a course-record, nine-under 62 in the third round. That vaulted him into third place at minus-11.
Playing with a sore back, Tiger Woods shot a two-under 69 and was four shots behind Kuchar and Woodland.
England’s David Lynn also posted a 69 on Saturday afternoon and joined Woods in a tie for fourth at eight-under 205.
Defending champion Nick Watney shared 13th place after a third-round 69 for 207.
Despite the back pain, Woods climbed up the leaderboard with four birdies in his final 11 holes.
“It starts off great every day, and then it progressively deteriorates as the day goes on,” said Woods, who had trouble bending over at times on the course. “Hopefully tomorrow it will be one of those days again and fight through it and see if I can win a tournament.”