Alena Sharp drains a par putt on the second hole at Whistle Bear Golf Club en route to a four-under round of 68 on Saturday at the Manulife LPGA Classic
Golf Sports

Alena is Sharp, Pettersen is sharper at LPGA

Norwegian leads the field, 8 strokes up on top Canadian

CAMBRIDGE, Ont.,–Low numbers have been possible all week at Whistle Bear Golf Club.

Suzann Pettersen has three of them.

The Norwegian star shot a 6-under-par 66 on Saturday to go along with her 65 on Friday and 66 on Thursday and retains the lead at the Manulife LPGA Classic by a single stroke on Mariajo Uribe.

“You know what, I got off to a fantastic start today,” said Pettersen, who has finished in the top 15 in three of her last seven starts. “Overall very happy. I’m very happy, but there’s a good job to be done tomorrow.”

The course record of 9-under 63 has been matched four times this week, and conditions were favourable once again on Saturday, with 10 rounds of five-under-par or better recorded by the field. This means Pettersen wasn’t able to create space between herself and her fellow competitors.

“There’s a lot of people in the hunt for this and the course is playing great,” said the seven-time Solheim Cup participant. “I think it’s fun for the fans to see us shooting low scores, and I’m excited to go back out there tomorrow and fight it to the very end.”

Colombia’s Uribe and the American Cristie Kerr are one and two strokes behind Pettersen respectively.

Alena Sharp was the top Canadian entering the day and is still the top at the end. The Hamilton, Ont., native shot a 4-under-par 68 to reach 11 under.

“I was really happy,” said Sharp, who could move inside the top 70 of the CME Globe race with a top-10 finish. “My putting saved me in the beginning and I just rolled it well all day.”

Sharp has a chance to become the first Canadian to win the Manulife Classic and the first to win on the LPGA tour since Lorie Kane in 2001. She tees off at 11:10 on Sunday morning for her final round.

World No.1 Lydia Ko shot a 68 on Saturday and played alongside Canadian Sara-Maude Juneau. The Quebec native followed up rounds of 71 and 68 with an even-par 72 to remain at five under.

Other Canadians in the field include Toronto’s Sue Kim who sits at four under, and Stratford, Ont., native and Monday qualifier Natalie Gleadall who is at six under.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_siglio