Pettersen in command

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:11 PM ET

Logic would suggest Suzann Pettersen had every reason to smile.

Not yet.

Just ask the inquisitive scribe who wondered aloud whether she planned to take the conservative approach after building a five-shot lead through three rounds at the US$2.75-million CN Canadian Women's Open.

"That's not really my personality, to be honest," Pettersen replied. "I have a number in my head. I'm not there yet, so I've got to make some birdies tomorrow to get there, and we'll see what that brings me."

If she can shave a few more strokes off her already eye-popping score, what it'll bring is her first CN Canadian Women's Open crown and a US$412,500 paycheque.

The unflappable Norwegian fired a 5-under 66 in blustery conditions yesterday at Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, pushing her three-day total to 14-under 199.

American Angela Stanford is in sole possession of second spot at 9-under 204.

Australia's Karrie Webb, who was crowned champion the last time the LPGA Tour came to town, is six shots off the pace at 8-under.

"(Pettersen) is out there by herself and, sometimes, that's a bit of a daunting task," Webb said. "And there's a ton of good players behind her ...

"In your mind, you want to approach the (final round) the same as you have the first three, but you know you don't have to do anything stupid, attack pins and stuff like that. So sometimes, that takes you out of your game plan, because you're not attacking pins that you normally would."

The way Pettersen has played the past three days, it's hard to imagine her doing anything but attacking.

A seven-year veteran, Pettersen hasn't captured an LPGA Tour title since winning five times in 2007. She came close last week, building a three-stroke lead in the final round before making a double-bogey with four holes to play and eventually losing in a playoff. If she's worried about letting another lead slip away, she wasn't showing it.

"Hopefully, I won't have nightmares," she said. "If I sleep well, I sleep well. If I don't sleep well, I'll be a grump in the early morning tomorrow, but I'll be fine.

"This is what you work so hard for. I mean, we're coming off the Solheim (Cup), which is probably the hardest pressure ever, so playing the final round here kind of feels like a piece of cake."

She's making Priddis Greens look like a piece of cake. The scary part is she's not satisfied yet.

"I'm not trying to hold onto anything," Pettersen said. "I'm just going to see if I can ...

She stops mid-sentence.

"How low can you go?"

We'll know the answer today.

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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