Karrie Webb. Photo: Getty
Australia's Karrie Webb will begin the final round of the KIA Classic four shots back from the leaders, needing a hot final round to move into contention for her third win of the year on the LPGA Tour.
Americans Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas are tied for the lead at 10-under par after the third round of the Kia Classic. A group of four players including Anna Nordqvist, Ayako Uehara, Shanshan Feng and Dori Carter are in a tie for fourth
and two shots back. Webb is tied in 11th place.
The duo of Kerr and Salas won’t only be battling for the victory this week in Carlsbad but also for the last spot on the American team for the International Crown this summer. Salas must win this week and Kerr would need a third place
finish or worse for Salas to move into the fourth spot for the United States.
Kerr is currently ranked No. 12 in the Rolex Rankings and holds the fourth spot on Team USA and Salas is nine spots back at No. 21.
“Coming in this week I didn’t really think that much about it, but now that I’ve been feeling good about my game and feeling confident,” said Salas. “I feel like I have what it takes to move up the ranks and squeeze into that team and to
represent my country again, and for the International Crown being its first year and for me to be on that team for its first year, it would mean a lot for me.”
Kerr carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday that included four birdies and two bogeys and a par save of a lifetime on the par 4 18th hole.
The 16-time LPGA Tour winner hit her second shot into the greenside water and after taking her drop on the fringe on the green, responded with a 60-foot putt to stay at 10-under.
“That was pretty amazing, it really is one of those moments that you just remember for a lifetime,” said Kerr. “I mean, it’s one in how many that you’re going to make but I was just trying to get it close. Usually that’s when those go in. So
Salas, who played alongside Kerr on Saturday and will be paired with her Solheim Cup teammate in the final group on Rolex Rankings No. 16 Anna Nordqvist (-8)
Rolex Rankings No. 244 Dori Carter (-8) Sunday, had to applaud her on the closing putt.
“Oh, it was great,” said Salas. “I was just laughing because -- that’s Kerr. You can expect nothing but the best from her.”
Salas posted a 3-under 69 that included four birdies and a bogey on the par 4 15th hole. It was her first bogey of the week and cut her streak of 56 consecutive holes without a bogey, going back to the 12th hole in the final round of the JTBC Founders Cup last week in Phoenix. Salas will be holding the lead for the first time in her career through any round heading into Sunday.
The 24-year old from Azusa, Calif. has been in contention several times on Sundays and said she’ll be comfortable in the final group.