Saturday, August 11, 2007



Catriona Matthew produced the round of the tournament – a six-under 66 - to take a share of the lead after the third day’s play at the Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika at the Barseback Golf & Country Club in Sweden.
The 37-year-old from North Berwick mixed four birdies, two bogeys and two eagles to join American Brittany Lincicome on five-under-par 211.
Louise Stahle, from nearby Lund, picked up three shots to take third place on four-under, one shot clear of Norwegian Suzann Pettersen who carded four birdies and two to move to three-under-par.
Second round leader Laura Diaz of the United States dropped three shots as she slipped to two-under 214.She is joined in fifth position by three Swedes: Maria Hjorth , Sophie Gustafson and teenage amateur Caroline Hedwall, who posted scores of 69, 70 and 72 respectively.
Matthew’s best round of the year would have been even better if an 18-foot putt to save par on the final hole hadn’t rolled an inch past the cup. She was desperately close to the first albatross of her career on the par-5 12th, after her approach with a seven iron landed a foot from the hole. She then recorded her second eagle on the back nine, at the par-five 16th and having gone out in 34, she came home in 32, four-under-par.
Despite the disappointment of ending on a bogey, Matthew said she was delighted with her round.“I played really well today. I hit a lot of greens and obviously two eagles on the back nine helped my score a bit so I’m pleased with how I played,” said Matthew, who is playing in only her third LET event of the year after becoming a mum in December.
“I played well the first two days, just had a couple runs of bad holes but I was pleased with the way I was hitting the ball.
“I knew if I could do it for 18 holes I’d be okay – I managed to do it for 17 today.”
It was a difficult round for host Annika Sörenstam, whose hopes of defending her title have all-but disappeared. The Swede, who is on course for her first season without a trophy since 1993, posted a score of 74 to move to four-over-par - nine shots behind the leaders.
“This is the toughest time I’ve ever had on the golf course,” she said.“It is a big test for me.“My caddie thinks it will take a while before I am getting better. But I am impatient.
“I feel there’s a wind against me.”
There was thunder and lightening in the air as the last few players concluded their rounds at Barsebäck, But it didn’t stop Stahle from finishing in style, with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to move within one shot of the leaders as she looks for her maiden LET title.
“It was a great day,” said the 22-year-old, who had brother Peder caddying for her.“I had pretty much the same day as yesterday but I just made a few more putts.
“I went out and had fun with my brother. We were really pumped up and it was nice with the crowds. A lot of my friends were out there.”
It was not such a good day for Diaz, one of just five Americans in the field. The 32-year-old got off to a shaky start, bogeying the first hole after scuffing a chip less than five feet on her approach to the green. A further four bogeys and two birdies followed, however she is well placed just three shots behind the leaders. Matthew and Lincicome will tee off at 12.51pm in the final pairing on Sunday.
Par 216 (3 x 72)
211 C Matthew (Sco) 71 74 66, B Lincicome (US) 71 69 71.
212 L Stahle (Swe) 69 74 69.
213 S Pettersen (Nor) 75 68 70.
214 M Hjorth (Swe) 70 75 69, S Gustafsson (Swe) 71 73 70, C Hedwall #Swe) (am) 70 72 72, L Diaz (US) 69 70 75.
Other score:
220 A Sorenstam (Swe) 71 75 74.