Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2013-10-26 10:59 PM
Inching one-step closer to defend her title and challenge Inbee Park’s world No.1 spot. Pettersen carded three birdies and four bogeys to take a four-stroke lead over South Korean Sun Young Yoo and Spaniards Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda heading into tomorrow’s final round.
Pettersen entered Saturday’s third-round five-strokes clear of her nearest competitor but the Norwegian saw her lead begin to dwindle after bogeys at Nos. 2, 4, and 5.
“You know, I had a great warm-up, felt good,” said Pettersen. “On the second, I kind of made a little amateur mistake trying to get too cute on the tee ball and left myself with a very tough up and down. I just couldn't get it going and made a few errors. Today was a tough day for me. It was all about hanging in there and trying to bring it back to where I started.”
Following the string of bogeys, Pettersen’s fierce competitive nature took center stage as she regained control of her round with birdies at the par-5 eighth and par-5 13th before faltering with another bogey at the 17th. Pettersen finished her round in style with a birdie at the 18th to post a three-day total of 6-under-par.
While Pettersen saw her round quickly beginning to slip through her fingertips, she was able to withstand difficult scoring conditions at Sunrise Golf & Country Club and maintain a comfortable lead heading into Sunday. “I could easily have lost it out there today,” said Pettersen. “It's one of those days where you can be very analytic.”
As Pettersen aims to defend her title and continue to make a dent into Inbee Park’s lead in the Rolex Player of the Year race, LPGA Official Money List, and Rolex Rankings, she finds herself entering tomorrow’s final round in a better position than last year. During the 2012 Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, Pettersen was forced to overcome a two-stroke deficit to Park on her way to the winner’s circle. If Pettersen wins tomorrow’s Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, it will be the first-time she has successfully defended a title on the LPGA Tour.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s former world number 1 Yani Tseng finally stopped the bleeding today and rewarded the 10,000 spectators with 5 birdies, including the 35-foot birdie putt on her final hole. Yani closed with an even-par 72 to remain at +10 for the tournament. “I am glad that I finally was able to shoot some birdies to give the fans something to cheer about.”
Candie Kung, who has 2 top-10 finishes on the LPGA tour this season, remained her steady play today and closed with a 2-over 74. She is currently 4-over for the tournament, good for tied 21st. Kung hopes she can manage to break par and finish in the top 10 in her hometown tomorrow.
(Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan, October 26, 2013)