WASHINGTON: Defending champion Brooke Henderson fired a two-under par 70 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to seize a two-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Portland Classic.
The 18-year-old Canadian, ranked second in the world, stood on 13-under par 203 after 54 holes at 6,476-yard Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon.
“I definitely want to play better on Sunday,” Henderson said.
Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe was second on 205 after a third-round 71, with Norway’s Suzann Pettersen shooting a 74 with six bogeys and four birdies to fall to a share of third with American Austin Ernst on 207.
Henderson birdied the third and par-five seventh holes and began the back nine with another birdie. But she stumbled with a double bogey at the par-three 13th to fall back, before a birdie at the par-three 16th boosted her lead.
“I didn’t take my time on the tee shot,” Henderson said of the double bogey. “I set my target and didn’t really commit to it. I just mis-hit it. After that, I just tried to regroup and was able to make one more birdie (at No. 16) coming in.”
Uribe opened with a bogey, then birdied a trio of par-five holes — the fifth, seventh and 12th. The South American standout then took a double bogey at 13 as well, but also bounced back with a birdie at 16.
Three Americans qualified for the British Women’s Open as a result of their 54-hole showing on 140 — Kelly Shon, Brianna Do and Cheyenne Woods, the 25-year-old niece of Tiger Woods.
Henderson won her first LPGA title at this event last year. Her eight-stroke romp made her the third-youngest winner in LPGA history and earned her an immediate spot on the tour.
Henderson won her first major title last month at the Women’s PGA Championship. A birdie on the first playoff hole denied top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand her third consecutive major title in a row.