Queensland’s Karrie Webb worked extremely hard on Saturday to maintain a one shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round of the HSBC Women’s Champions.
Webb, who won the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open just three weeks ago, is looking to capture her second LPGA title of 2014.
After a day that saw several players jockeying in and out of a share of the lead, Rolex World No. 7 Karrie Webb took back control on the back nine to maintain her lead. Webb sits atop the leaderboard at 11-under par after a 2-under 70 on Saturday and leads American Angela Stanford (69) by one shot. Spain’s Azahara Munoz (67) and Teresa Lu (70) of Taiwan sit in a tie for third at 8-under par and are three shots back.
Webb got off to a slow start in the third round and had pars on her first nine holes until a bogey on the par 4 10th hole. The World Golf and LPGA Halls of Famer broke her birdie drought on the par 3 14th when she hit her tee shot to three feet. Webb said she was pleased with the round despite having to grind out pars for the first half.
“It was a pretty solid round really,” said Webb. “I didn't probably hit it as good as I would have liked but I felt like I had a lot of in between numbers today and I really had trouble a few times picking the right club. So probably more poor decision making rather than bad swing. I only made one bogey out of all of that, and yeah, the front nine had played a little bit easier for me this week and it didn't play as easy today, but I got through it at even par and you know, I finished off strong the last five holes, which you know, really makes the round look really good.”
Azahara Munoz and Paula Creamer moved into a tie for the lead at 8-under par, each with birdies on the par 5 12th hole. But Webb’s strong finish which included three birdies in her last five holes pushed her out in front again. Webb’s birdie on the 14th got things started, but said her three-foot birdie putt was harder than it should’ve been. Playing partners Angela Stanford and Teresa Lu both stuck their first shots for tap ins.
“I had to work on my putt,” said Webb. “They didn't have to. And that was my first birdie of the day, so I was making sure it went in.”
Webb said patience on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club was critical on Saturday and said she was happy with how she handled herself throughout the round.
“Just even when I was not giving myself a lot of good birdie opportunities early on, I had to tell myself, it's Saturday and there's plenty of golf left to be played and just be patient and fortunately I listened to myself for a change,” said Webb.
Stanford was within two shots of the lead the entire round and shadowed Webb’s birdies on Nos. 14, 16 and 18 to finish with a 69 and one shot back. The Texan said that it’s difficult to want to keep track of the leaderboard considering the number of established players making a charge at the top.
“I think you want to finish strong either way,” said Stanford. “And you know, I think you can look at a leaderboard at this tournament, but it's just a bunch of people. I mean, so it's really not worth looking at it. You just know a lot of people are going to be at the top.”
Munoz shot the round of the day with her 5-under 67 and moved from a tie for ninth into a tie for third. No. 2 Suzann Pettersen shot 2-under 70 and is six shots off the lead in seventh place at 5-under par.
Fellow Queenslander Katherine Kirk continues to move up the leaderboard, a third round of 71 sees her at one-over-par and tied for 26th