Pettersen builds 5-shot lead in Thailand

Suzann Pettersen watches a tee shot during third round of the LPGA Thailand.

Suzann Pettersen watches a tee shot during third round of the LPGA Thailand.

PATTAYA, Thailand – Suzann Pettersen had her third straight bogey-free round Saturday, shooting a 4-under 68 and opening a five-stroke lead in the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand.

The 2007 champion from Norway said she drank 12 bottles of water in the extreme heat during Saturday’s round on the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course and is 18-under 198 for the tournament. She shot a 66 and 64 in the first two rounds.

“I’m playing very solid, gave myself some good chances on the greens,” Pettersen said. “I’m playing very good going into the last round.”

After a sluggish start, Song-Hee Kim of South Korea birdied three of the last four holes for a 68. She is at 13-under 203.

“I played pretty good today, but it was hard on the front nine. I didn’t get many birdies,” Kim said. “On the back nine, I got more birdies and more confidence.”

After two error-free rounds, Ai Miyazato of Japan had two bogeys Saturday to offset four birdies and finished with a 2-under 70 for a share of third place at 204 with compatriot Momoko Ueda (69) and 2008 LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng of Taiwan (68).

Cristie Kerr, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion, made eagles on Nos. 7 and 18 and shot a 66. She is tied for sixth place at 11 under with Hee Young Park (72) and Sweden’s Maria Hjorth (70).

Michelle Wie shot a 74 and is at 2-under 214 for the tournament.

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