Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist set a tournament course record with an 11-under 61 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Tour’s Founders Cup.
The score also tied her career-best round, which she shot in the third round of the Mobile Bay Classic in 2013. The previous best tournament round score was a 62.
Nordqvist, who was born in Eskilstuna outside of Stockholm, said she enjoys playing in the western US.
“I always say I’m a west coast girl and people remind me I’m from Sweden,” she said.
Nordqvist went out in the afternoon at the Wildfire Golf Club and started quickly with a five-under 31 on her first nine holes. She played college golf in Arizona so feels at home on the course.
“They always say that home is where the heart is and my heart is definitely still here,” Nordqvist said. “Even though I live in Florida now, this definitely feels like home. I have family and friends here, or seem like family. So I was staying with friends this week. It’s just been a fun week. It’s been busy first week back in the US, but just always feel special coming back here. I wish I could more often. Definitely, have a big smile on my face this week.”
Nordqvist reached 21-under 195 and had a two-stroke lead over opening-round playing partners Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Stacy Lewis of the US.
“Yeah, I had a great first two days with Stacy and Ariya. I think we were 36-under-par as a group for the first two days,” Nordqvist said.
Jutanugarn had three straight birdies on the back nine to finish with a bogey-free 66.
“I’m starting to make some putts today,” she said. “I missed a pretty short one, but today is good.”
She said the final round would be a mental struggle.
“I’m going to be really want to commit with every shot I hit tomorrow,” she said.
Lewis recorded seven birdies and one bogey cruising to a six-under.
“Making those two birdies coming in was huge. With the way this golf course is playing, two back is not a big deal,” Lewis said.
Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung carded a 67 and was tied for 33rd place in a group on 11-under.
Additional reporting by staff writer