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Nordqvist Now in Front of Alabama LPGA Event


Sweden's Anna Nordqvist fired her second straight 6-under 66 to take over the 54-hole lead in the Airbus LPGA Classic. The $1.3 million event began Thursday on the Magnolia Grove course in Mobile, Ala., a stop on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

After recording seven birdies and a bogey Friday, the 26-year-old Nordqvist carded six birdies and the rest pars to reach 16-under 200, a stroke ahead of Scotland's Catriona Matthew, who shot a 70 Saturday.

No. 2-ranked Stacy Lewis also had a 66 and is only two behind Nordqvist, while Michelle Wie (66), Jessica Korda (69) and English teenager Charley Hull (71) share fourth at 13-under 203.

Lewis can replace Inbee Park as the top-ranked player in women's golf with a high finish this week; Park missed the cut in Alabama. "Overall, I hit it really great off the tee," Lewis said. "I gave myself some opportunities and I was able to take advantage of some of them."

Lewis isn't concerned about supplanting Park as No. 1; instead, she's focused on finishing up with her victory of the year. "The goal is to win," said Lewis, who won the North Texas LPGA Shootout earlier in May. "I'm not here to finish second or third. Now it's just going out there and trying to win a golf tournament."

Matthew got off to a rough start, carding three bogeys in her first five holes. But the 44-year-old settled down from there, adding five birdies the rest of the way to stay in contention.

Wie posted three birdies on each the front and back nines, while the 21-year-old Korda had five birdies and two bogeys.

Sharing seventh at 12-under are South Koreans So Yeon Ryu (67), Eun-Hee Ji (68) and Jenny Shin (69), along with England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff (68).

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.