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Three Share Lead in Titleholders


Suzann Pettersen continued her fine play Thursday in the opening round of the $1.5 million CME Group Titleholders. The 31-year-old Norwegian carded a 6-under 66 to take a share of the lead with South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Sun Young Yoo.

Pettersen is looking for her third win in her past four starts at the LPGA Tour's season-ending event; the 72-hole tournament is taking place at TwinEagles Club in Naples, Fla. She carded two birdies on the front nine and four more on the back.

"I still feel like I have the best golf ahead of me," Pettersen told reporters after Thursday's round. "I'm not too worried if it's season 2012 or season 2013. My big goal now is to prepare and be well for 2013 and hopefully come out strong the way I finish, and hopefully get another three rounds together and see where that takes me for this tournament."

Pettersen, a 10-time LPGA winner, won the Hanabank Championship October 21 and the Taiwan Championship a week later. She didn't play in the Mizuno Classic two weeks ago - won by Stacy Lewis, and had a T-12 finish in last week's Lorena Ochoa Invitational, ending up at 7-under 281, nine strokes behind winner Cristie Kerr.

Pettersen knows she's on a hot streak and the recent wins are letting her play worry-free. "We play the game to win, don't we?" she said. "I'm in it to win. That stays it all. I feel like my shoulders are fairly freed up after winning two in Asia. I don't feel like I really have to go out and do anything. That makes the game that much easier."

Ryu, who won the 2011 U.S. Women's Open as a non-member and got her second LPGA victory in August in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic en route to be named Rookie of the Year in 2012, had three birdies on the front and four more on the inward half; a bogey on the par-4 10th was the 22-year-old's lone dropped shot of the day.

Yoo, who also has two career victories, including a major in the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship, had a much more colorful scorecard. Starting on the 10th tee, it listed nine birdies, a bogey on the par-4 ninth (her 18th) and a double on the par-3 eighth (17th). The 25-year-old from Seoul shot a 6-under 30 on her opening nine holes thanks to six of her nine birdies.

"I hit the ball great all day, but I'm a little disappointed how I finished the last couple of holes," Yoo said. "But still, 6-under was a good score . . . I still have 54 holes to play, so I feel good."

Tied for fourth in the Titleholders after 67s are South Korea's Na Yeon Choi, Kerr, Australia's Lindsey Wright and Karine Icher of France. Another shot back are Americans Lizette Salas and Brittany Lincicome, Korean Jiyai Shin and Paraguayan Julieta Granada.

"I played awesome last week and carried that into this week," said Kerr, who played in the same group with Pettersen.

Lewis, who has already earned Player of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour, opened with a 70. Lewis needs a victory this week - and the $500,000 that goes to the winner - to overtake Inbee Park and take the earnings crown.

Other scores included a 72 by Paula Creamer and a 75 by No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng. Michelle Wie is in last place in the 73-player field after shooting an 81 that included two birdies, four bogeys, two doubles and a triple on the par-3 12th hole.

For complete scoring, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.