(Reuters) - American Brittany Lincicome edged closer to her second major title after establishing a one-stroke lead after the third round at the LPGA Championship on Saturday.
The second round leader was not at her sparkling best, but stayed in front with a respectable one-under-par 71 at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York to post a 10-under-par 206.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen carded the equal best round of the day with a 67 to jump into a tie for second with defending champion Park Inbee (69), of South Korea, at nine-under.
Pettersen recovered from a bogey at the first hole, storming back with six birdies to surge into contention, while Park saved par from 12 feet at the final hole.
Another South Korean, Mirim Lee, was fourth at seven-under.
Lincicome, 28, won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she came from behind in the final round.
The only other time she led after 54 holes at a major was the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open, where she shot a closing 78.
Lincicome did not expect to be on edge for the third round. She had a good night’s sleep, but the nerves kicked in a couple of hours before her tee time and she had trouble eating lunch.
“I think because I haven’t been in this position in a while, it just kind of all caught up with me,” Lincicome told reporters.
“I just tried to take multiple deep breaths out there. I don’t think I calmed down until really the back nine probably.
“Hopefully going into tomorrow it’s kind of out of my system. I kind of know what it feels like to be in this position.”
Pettersen was satisfied with her performance as she moved into contention for her third major title, and her 15th victory on the LPGA Tour.
“It’s nice to make a charge and be where I’m at right now,” she said.
Park was also happy with her position after hitting some poor shots but salvaging a decent score.
“I hit a couple of bad shots and kind of scrambled around today,” said Park, who won the first three majors last season.