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Nordqvist leads Matthew, Lewis heading into final round at Airbus LPGA Classic, young guns lurking

Third Round – LPGA Tour –Airbus LPGA Classic –Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail– xxx, Alabama–

Anna Nordqvist takes the 54-hole lead into the final round of the Airbus LPGA Classic thanks to a 6-under-66 Saturday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Nordqvist (16-under) leads veteran Catriona Matthew by one shot through three rounds. Matthew closed out round two with a flurry of birdies to off-set three early bogeys.

Rolex Ranking World No. 2 Stacy Lewis is 14-under and just two shots behind the leader. Lewis, who won the North Texas Open two tournaments ago, also carded a 66 in round three. Jessica Korda is in fourth place at 13-under along with Michelle Wie and England’s Charley Hull.

Nordqvist has two victories in 2014 including the Honda in Thailand back in February and the Kia Classic in California in March. She has just one bogey all week.

The 26-year-old, who has hit 51 of 54 Greens In Regulation this week, could move into the driver seat for theLPGA Tour Player of the Year with a victory. A win would push her into first in the Race to the CME Globe.

Her biggest challenger in the final round might be Lewis, won the title here in 2012. Thanks to Inbee Park missing the cut this week, a solo third-place finish or better will return Lewis to the Rolex Ranking No. 1 slot.

At Ladbrokes.com to start the week, Lewis was the betting favorite at 5-to-1 odds. Nordqvist was listed at 25-1. Korda, who won the 2014 season-opener in the Bahamas, was a 50-1 long shot along with Matthew at 66-1.

Look for several players have a chance to win it Sunday.

Other Golf News:

  • Rain delays slowed play Saturday in Texas at the Crowne Plaza Invitational on the PGA Tour. When play was suspended, 7-under was the leading score in the clubhouse posted by veteran David Toms, Chad Campbell and Hideki Matsuyama. Chris Stroud, who was T-7 here in 2013, is also 7-under with a few holes to play.
  • Thomas Bjorn rallied with a string of six straight birdies en route to back-nine 30 at Wentworth Golf Club in England. He is 15-under overall and five shots clear of Luke Donald. Rory McIlroy is T-4 heading into the final round. Bjorn, 43, already leads the Race To Dubai standings.
  • Colin Montgomerie (7-under at the moment) leads Bernhard Langer by a shot at the Senior PGA Championship on the Champions Tour. Both have a few holes to finish up the third round.
  • More than two dozen players are within three shots of the lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Jimmy Walker, the FedEx Cup standing leader, is part of a group at 6-under with one hole to complete the third round.