Published April 19, 2013
| Sports Network
Oahu, HI – Suzann Pettersen posted a 4-under 68 on Friday to remain 1-stroke clear of the field after three rounds of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
Pettersen finished 54 holes at 14-under 202. That total bested Ai Miyazato's mark of 206 from a year ago. Pettersen broke Miyazato's 36-hole scoring mark a day earlier at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Hee Kyung Seo stumbled to a bogey on the 18th hole to dip one back at minus-13 after a round of 6-under 66 on Friday.
Miyazato, the defending champion, managed a 2-under 70 and is alone in third place at 11-under-par 205. Hyo Joo Kim (60) is one shot back at minus-10.
Stacy Lewis shares fifth place at 9-under 207. Lewis shot 69 on Friday and she stands alongside Lizette Salas (67) and Ariya Jutanugarn (68)
Jessica Korda also fired a 66 to match Seo for low round of the day honors. Korda is tied for eighth place at minus-8 with world No. 1 Inbee Park (67) and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (68).
Pettersen flew out of the gate with birdies on the first three holes. That spurt moved her to 13-under par, where she was four strokes clear of the field.
The 10-time LPGA Tour winner parred three in a row. Pettersen rolled in a birdie try at seven to move three clear of Seo, who had made eagle at No. 5. However, Pettersen stumbled to a bogey on the par-3 eighth to cut her lead to two.
Pettersen ran off five consecutive pars from the ninth and was caught atop the leaderboard by Seo. After Seo moved to 14-under with a birdie on No. 15, Pettersen responded with a birdie on the 14th to regain a piece of the lead.
Pettersen ran off four straight pars to close out her round.
"My game was a little bit tighter off the bat. I found a nice little key on the range last night, just to tighten it up a little bit," Pettersen said. "I felt like played pretty good. It's not like I faded off (after three straight birdies). Certain pin locations were a little bit harder to get to especially when you are between clubs."
Seo birdied the second, then eagled the par-5 fifth to jump to 10-under. She picked up another stroke with a birdie on No. 7.
Around the turn, Seo traded a birdie for a bogey from the 11th. The 2010 Kia Classic winner drained three birdies in a row from the 12th to grab a share of the lead.
Seo, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open runner-up, faltered to a bogey at the last to drop one back.
"I've trained a lot the last few months. I watched the Masters last week and seeing their routines helped me out," Seo admitted. "The shot on five was a harder shot, and that eagle made me happy."
Miyazato started her round with nine pars in a row. She halted that run with a birdie on the par-4 10th. Miyazato wrapped birdies at 15 and 17 around a bogey on the 16th to end three back.
NOTES: Pettersen has won just three of the nine times she owned at least a piece of the 54-hole lead on the LPGA Tour with her last win in that position coming back in 2009 at the Canadian Women's Open ... Miyazato has come from behind to win two times on the LPGA Tour, while in Seo's only tour win she was the 54-hole leader.