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Tseng takes three-shot lead at Safeway Classic

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Yani Tseng, formerly the No. 1 women's golfer in the world, recaptured that form Saturday with a 9-under-par 63 that gave her a three-shot lead going into the final round of the LPGA Safeway Classic.

Tseng made 11 birdies at Columbia Edgewater Country Club to finish at 198, 18-under, for 54 holes.

Suzann Pettersen, who carded a 70 on Saturday, and Pornanong Phatlum, with a 71, were tied for second at 201.

Four players were at 202: world No. 2 Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Anna Nordqvist and Lizette Salas.

Nordqvist fired a 63, Lewis and Pressel each shot 65, and Salas had a 68.

Lewis had her best round of the week and hasn't made a bogey on the 6,545-yard layout.

Tseng, from Taiwan, is looking for her first tour win since 2012. The 2011 player of the year has been in a slump and ranks 33rd on the 2013 LPGA money list. She had missed four consecutive cuts before tying for 24th at last week's Canadian Women's Open. Both of her top-10 finishes this season came at the start of the year. It has been 36 starts since her last victory.

"It's great to be back in (contending) position again," she said. "I was really happy out there, and the galleries are awesome, and I just love every part of the golf out there and really enjoyed every shot.

"I just feel good about my swing. I played a little more aggressively the last two days, tried to go for the pin every shot and make birdie every hole."

One of her bogeys came after a snap-hook off the tee on the par-5 12th. She said bouncing back with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th was a key.

Phatlum led after the first two rounds.

"My putting was not really good today," she said.

Another group of four players -- Karrie Webb, Sandra Changkija, Cristie Kerr and Caroline Masson -- were 13 under through three rounds.

Austin Ernst, a tour rookie from LSU, turned in a 62 that put her among three players at 12 under.

"I think you need a low round (Sunday) to win at this course," Tseng said. "You can see how strong the LPGA is right now. You don't know who's going to shoot 10 under tomorrow to win the tournament."

Lewis agreed.

"This whole tournament is a shootout," she said. "Whoever wins tomorrow is probably going to shoot 65 or better."
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