- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2009

Anna Nordqvist weathered a lengthy rain delay and fading daylight to take one-shot lead on Lindsey Wright in the LPGA Championship when play was halted in the third round Saturday.

Nordqvist made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole after the horn stopped play because of darkness. The players were allowed to finish their holes, and the rookie from Sweden took advantage by moving to 10 under par.

“Obviously finishing with the birdie brings me some good momentum,” Nordqvist said.

Wright - one of eight players who did not finish - also played 15 holes.

Na Yeon Choi was about to hit her tee shot on 18 when play was suspended. She threw her ball away in disgust and stormed off the course at 8 under (3 under for the round).

Jin Young Pak completed her 69 after the horn to come in at 7 under.

Hours earlier, rain stopped play for 2 hours, 19 minutes with 22 players on the course. Nordqvist finished nine holes at 10 under, and Wright completed 10 holes and 9 under.

Wright returned to birdie No. 11, and the Australian gained the lead when Nordqvist bogeyed the hole. But a bogey on 13 dropped Wright into a tie atop the leader board.

Down by two at the start of the round, Wright parred the first five holes before sinking three straight birdies to go 9 under. A bogey on No. 9 stalled her momentum only momentarily; she began the back nine with successive birdies.

The round began with Nordqvist holding a one-shot lead on Nicole Castrale.

Playing in the final twosome for the first time in her brief professional career, Nordqvist showed absolutely no outward nervousness. After both players parred the first hole, Nordqvist increased her lead to two strokes when Castrale three-putted from 25 feet.

A birdie on No. 3 dropped Nordqvist to 9 under. Nordqvist then nailed a 12-foot birdie putt on 4 and pumped her fist slightly - a rare departure from her businesslike approach.

That lengthened her lead on Castrale to four strokes, and when Castrale missed a 3-footer on No. 5, the gap increased to five shots.

Castrale rebounded with a birdie on No. 8 shortly before the rain came, but by then Wright, Choi and Kristy McPherson had passed her.

McPherson was at 6 under through 17 holes, tied with Jiyal Shin, who shot a 69.

Castrale was at 5 under through 15 holes when play was halted.

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