Anna Nordqvist of Sweden posted a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Catriona Matthew of Scotland into the final round of the Airbus LPGA Classic on the Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, Ala.
The 26-year-old Nordqvist, who won the Honda LPGA Thailand and the Kia Classic earlier this season, birdied four consecutive holes through No. 5 and added two more on the ninth and 16th holes in her second straight 66.
“I’m happy that I was able to hit 17 greens today and just missed on No. 18, even though I hit a really good shot,” said Nordqvist, whose biggest victory came in the 2009 McDonald LPGA Championship as a rookie after an All-American career at Arizona State.
“I’ve always considered myself a good irons player, but I lost my rhythm when we played in the wind earlier this year in Hawaii and San Francisco. I’ve been working with my coach to get it back.
“And I’ve been rolling it pretty good on the greens.”
Matthew, 44, who led after each of the first two rounds with scores of 64-67, made bogeys on three of her first five holes, but rallied with four birdies in a span of six holes through No. 17 to salvage a 70.
Stacy Lewis, who can become No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings by finishing third or better, had eight birdies in a round of 66 and was solo third, two strokes behind.
Michelle Wie carded a bogey-free 66 and was three strokes back in a tie for fourth with Jessica Korda, who had a 71, and Charley Hull, 18, of England, who came in with a 71.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England shot 68 and was four shots off the pace with three South Koreans — So Yeo Ryu, who had a 67, Eun-Hee Ji, who totaled 68, and Jenny Shin, who had a 69.