Pressel moves to Women's British 54-hole lead

Morgan Pressel watches her tee shot from the 17th tee during the completion of the delayed third round of the Women's British Open at the Old Course in St Andrews.

— Morgan Pressel curled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th green just before noon here in the Kingdom of Fife to take a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The closing birdie on the Old Course put her narrowly ahead of fellow American Stacy Lewis during this marathon Sunday.

But the finish of the day so far belonged to local favorite Catriona Matthew, who holed out for eagle from 67 yards with a lob wedge for the morning’s biggest roar. Matthew, winner of the 2009 British Open at Lytham, played the last two holes 3 under to card a 4-under 68 and move within three shots of the lead.

There are four major champions within three shots of Pressel: Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Na Yeon Choi and Matthew.

Lewis and the rest of the field rose before dawn to prepare for a 6:15 a.m. re-start to the third round after high winds suspended play Saturday. Both Lewis and Pressel played their entire third round Saturday morning, shooting 69 and 71 respectively. Pressel’s 9-under 207 leads a pack of 25 players who are under par for the tournament.

“I shot even par on the back nine, which is a great score,” said Lewis, who made two bogeys but felt like she didn’t miss a shot.

“This is the third time we’ve played 36 holes (in one day) in the last five majors,” said Lewis.

In other words, they’re used to it.

“Look at the Bahamas,” Pressel quipped, referring to the washout that led to 12-hole rounds.

Pressel felt like she missed only one shot during her morning loop – a chunked hybrid on the 15th.

“You just have to think so much over every shot,” said Pressel. “By the end of the day, I don’t know if I’ll be thinking.”

Na Yeon Choi, the leader after two rounds, dropped to a tie for third after a 3-over 75.

Meanwhile Inbee Park’s chances at the Grand Slam ended with a 2-over 74. She’ll likely finish somewhere in the middle of the pack.

There’s a lot on the line in this final round as players also make one last push to make their respective Solheim Cup teams. Pressel seems to have locked up her spot with her early performance. Americans still hoping to impress include Michelle Wie (T-47), Nicole Castrale (T-14) and Gerina Piller (T-39). Jennifer Johnson missed the cut, but as one of only three Americans to win on tour this year, still has a solid chance for a captain’s pick. Should Pressel win, she would knock out Brittany Lang in the Solheim Cup points list, who could still qualify for the team based on her Rolex Ranking.

European captain Liselotte Neumann said earlier in the week that she was certain of two of her four picks, leaving room for several last-minute scenarios. Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Caroline Hedwall and Charley Hull missed the cut but are still in the mix as are Sandra Gal (T-39) and Gwladys Nocera (T-65). Mikaela Parmlid would have to finish second today to make it in on points.

Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification