Pettersen one clear at Ochoa

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

GUADALAJARA, Mexico - Despite some shaky play late in her round, Suzann Pettersen managed a three-under 69 on Saturday and moved to the top of the leaderboard after the third round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Pettersen bogeyed two of her last four holes and converted a tough five-footer to save par at the last. She finished at 12-under 204 and is one stroke ahead at Guadalajara Country Club.

In-Kyung Kim, Karine Icher and former world No. 1 Ai Miyazato each posted rounds of four-under 68 on Saturday and moved into a tie for second place with Stacy Lewis, who had a 69. The group came in at 11-under 205.

Second-round leader Paula Creamer only managed an even-par 72 and is sixth at minus-10.

Tournament namesake Lorena Ochoa, who came out of retirement to play this week, carded a three-under 69 on Saturday and is tied for 24th place at minus- two.

Pettersen flew out of the gate on Saturday with birdies at the first two holes. She already took the lead from Creamer, but when Creamer missed a 25- foot par putt at the fifth and Pettersen rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at six, Pettersen's advantage was three strokes.

Pettersen continued her strong play around the turn. She sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-five ninth, then tapped in a short birdie putt at the par-five 10th.

The No. 5 ranked player in the world was cruising at 14-under par, but trouble loomed.

At the par-four 15th, Pettersen knocked her second in a greenside bunker. She caught too much ball and not enough sand and her shot sailed through the green. Pettersen went on to make bogey, but it foreshadowed future problems.

Pettersen's tee ball at the par-three 17th once again landed in sand, but this time her bunker shot came up well short of the flagstick. She missed her 25- foot par putt and suddenly found herself at 12-under par and only one stroke ahead.

At the par-five closing hole, Pettersen drove into the trees right of the fairway and had no choice but to pitch back to the short grass. Her third shot found yet another bunker, but Pettersen hit this pitch better than her last two.

Pettersen cooly stepped up and drained her five-foot par save to keep sole possession of the lead.

"I hit great shots, great putts, but I'm fighting my pull-draw," acknowledged Pettersen in a televised interview. "It was just a few poor swings."

Hall of Famer Karrie Webb (68), Amy Yang (68), Meena Lee (70), and Rookie of the Year Azahara Munoz (70) are knotted in seventh place at nine-under-par 207.

NOTES: Pettersen has six LPGA Tour victories, but none this season ... She does have five runner-ups in 2010 ... This is the 10th time Pettersen has held a piece of the lead with one round to go, but she only won four of her previous nine...Cristie Kerr is 11th at minus-eight.


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