Nordqvist grabs LPGA Classic lead

The Sports NetworkMay 23, 2014 

Mobile, AL ( - Anna Nordqvist fired her second straight 6- under 66 on Saturday and that helped her grab a 1-shot lead after three rounds of the Airbus LPGA Classic.

Nordqvist ended 54-holes at 16-under-par 200. She will go for her fifth LPGA Tour win on Sunday.

Catriona Matthew, who led after the first two rounds, posted a 2-under 70 and dipped into second place at minus-15 on the Crossings Course at RTJ Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove.

Stacy Lewis carded her second 66 of the week and she moved into third place at 14-under-par 202.

Michelle Wie (66), Jessica Korda (69) and Charley Hull (71) share fourth place at 13-under 203. Eun-Hee Ji (68), Jenny Shin (69), So Yeon Ryu (67) and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (68) are tied for seventh at minus-12.

Nordqvist got off to a flying start as she opened with birdies on the second and third. She followed with birdies on four and five as well to make it four in a row.

That spurt gave the Swede the lead. After three pars in a row, Nordqvist converted a birdie at the ninth to turn at minus-15.

Nordqvist started the back nine with six pars in a row. She was one clear of Lewis when that run ended. Nordqvist ended her string of pars with a birdie on the par-5 16th. She parred the final two to end at minus-16.

"I felt very confident and very comfortable out there. Got off to a really good start and just tried to keep the momentum and had a pretty good finish the last three holes, so I'm very happy with the day," said Nordqvist. "All I can do is put myself in a position to have a chance tomorrow and I felt like I've done that. Last year, I was in the final group and I was playing well and there was a lot of people coming from behind. You can never relax. You always have to keep pushing forward."

Matthew struggled to three bogeys on a 4-hole span from the second to slide to 10-under. She started to fight back with a birdie on the par-4 seventh.

After four pars in a row, Matthew picked up another birdie on the par-4 12th. She drained three straight birdie chances from the 15th to jump within one of the lead. Matthew parred the last to end there.

"I obviously got off to a terrible start with the three bogeys when everyone else is making birdies. Just knew there was a lot of chances there on the back nine if I could just hang in and start hitting greens again and give myself chances," Matthew stated. "Made four birdies on the back nine, so not the greatest round, but I did not play myself out of it."

Lewis had five birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. She collected three more birdies on the back nine to move within two of the lead.

NOTES: Nordqvist has already won twice this season ... Lewis will take over the top spot in the world rankings on Monday with a win, a 4-way tie for second or a solo third-place finish.

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