June 7, 2015 / 12:58 AM / 4 years ago

Pettersen leads Uribe by one shot in Ontario

(Reuters) - Suzann Pettersen saved par after a deft bunker shot at the final hole to hold a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Manulife LPGA Classic in Ontario on Saturday.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway hits from the fifth tee during the second round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic women's golf tournament at the Grey Silo course in Waterloo, June 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

She carded a six-under-par 66 on the Whistle Bear course in Cambridge to move within sight of a 15th LPGA title and her first since 2013.

But the 34-year-old Norwegian will not be planning her victory speech just yet, not with two classy players breathing down her neck on a course that is yielding heaps of birdies.

Colombian Mariajo Uribe (67) is just one stroke behind, while veteran American Cristie Kerr (67) trails by two after draining a 20-foot birdie putt from off the putting surface at the final hole.

Pettersen got off to a rousing start with birdies at the first three holes and she picked up all of her shots in the first 11 holes to finish with a 19-under total of 197.

“I got off to a fantastic start today, everything went my way at the start (but) it kind of dried up a little bit towards the end,” the former world number two told reporters.

“Overall very happy and in a good position, but there’s a job to be done tomorrow.”

Whatever the outcome, her game is rounding into form at an ideal time heading into a major next week, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Westchester, New York.

Uribe, the 2007 U.S. Amateur champion, has not won an official LPGA event and knows that only a victory on Sunday will make news back home.

“In Colombia they only follow soccer really,” she said. “The only way I can make it to the TV in prime-time is if I win.

“Top 10 is not good enough for them.

“I’m a pretty aggressive player, so I didn’t have to change my strategy here. I feel really confident right now. My driver’s pretty straight.”

Kerr, meanwhile, has won 17 LPGA events, including a U.S. Women’s Open, so she knows what it takes to get the job done.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom

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