Pettersen, Uribe & Kerr All In The Hunt For Sunday's Manulife LPGA Classic Top Prize
Pettersen Leads But Uribe And Kerr Breathing Down Her Neck
The final group on Sunday will be a familiar one with all three players from the final group on Saturday playing together again in the final round. Suzann Pettersen, Mariajo Uribe and Cristie Kerr have reputations of fiery and competitive demeanor on the course and provided plenty of body English and ball chatter throughout the third round.
Uribe said her playing partners brought her competitive spirit out of her and looks forward to Sunday.
“I love playing with them,” said Uribe. “I played with Suzann when I won in Brazil a couple years ago, so she brings the competitive out of me even more, one of the players I really look up to because she has a pretty similar game to mine. So it’s been fun. We all played good and we’re going to have the same pairing tomorrow so it’s going to be pretty comfortable.”
Pettersen acknowledged the high intensity atmosphere of the group but that was the extent of having any influence on her game. The veteran said tunnel vision has worked out well for her.
“Yeah, I mean, two feisty competitors,” said Pettersen. “I don’t really pay too much attention to them. Mariajo played really well today and Cristie finished with a nice birdie. Like I said, I have more than enough to try to make enough birdies myself and try and get to my number.”
Late Rally Saturday Keeps Kerr Close
Cristie Kerr knew that she needed to dig deep and make some birdies coming in to stay within striking distance of the lead entering the final round. The 17-time winner did just that with birdies on two of her final three holes coming in, including a clutch 15-footer from the fringe on the last.
“That was a great birdie on the last hole, I think I jumped up in the air,” Kerr said. “I made a great putt on 16 and that was not an easy pin there, either. You know what, I was hitting so many good putts all day that nothing was dropping and I was getting a little frustrated, but my caddie Greg said stay patient and I just got really determined down at the end there to make up a couple so I stay win reach tomorrow.”
The birdies on 16 and 18 got helped Kerr to squeeze out a third round 67 to put her at 17-under for the week, two strokes back of leader Suzann Pettersen.
Right: Suzann Pettersen teeing off at Whistle Bear
“I think you can’t get too far back on a course like this,” said Kerr. “You’ve got to be able to stay win sight.”
The second win of the season and 18th of Kerr’s career will clearly be in her sights tomorrow.
“I’ve just got to play my own game and just start walking some putts in and put some pressure on the other people.”
Lindberg Hopes To Learn From Last Week
Pernilla Lindberg was in the third-to-last group and tied for third last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic and struggled to a final round 77. The Swede is hoping to learn from that experience as she competes in the penultimate group on Sunday at Whistle Bear.
“I think every time you’re in that position it’s a great experience and I feel more and more comfortable every time I do it,” Lindberg explained. “That’s what we work hard for, to get there on a Sunday.”
Lindberg sits, three strokes behind Suzann Pettersen, in solo fourth this week as she looks to improve upon her best finish as a professional, a tie for third at the 2014 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
“Just stay aggressive,” Lindberg said of her approach going into the final round. “I said yesterday the wind out here is the only thing that can really protect the course. But I don’t think we’re expecting any high winds, so I know that people are going to go out and shoot low scores and make birdies so I’m just going to go out and attack and try to do the same.”
Quote Of The Day
“In Columbia they only follow soccer really, so the only way I can make it to the TV on prime time is if I win. I mean, Top 10 or anything like that, it’s not good enough for them back there. So I mean, it’s good. Camillo did it with the guys so I’m hoping I get a win and my goal for the Olympics is to get there as highly ranked as I can and I need a win for that.”- Mariajo Uribe on how much attention a win this week would get back in her native Colombia.
Photos by Mike Romanowich
LeaderBoard After Three Rounds At Manulife LPGA Classic