PHOENIX, March 19, 2017 (AFP) - Sweden's Anna Nordqvist set a tournament course record with an 11-under 61 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup.
The score also tied her career best round score which she shot in the third round of the Mobile Bay Classic in 2013. The previous best tournament round score was a 62.
Nordqvist, who was born in Eskilstuna outside of Stockholm, said she enjoys playing on the western United States.
"I always say I'm a west coast girl and people remind me I'm from Sweden," she said.
Nordqvist went out in the afternoon at the Wildfire Golf Club and started quickly with a five-under par, 31 on her first nine holes. She played college golf in Arizona so feels at home on this course.
"They always say that home is where the heart is, and my heart is definitely still here," said Nordqvist. "Even though I live in Florida now, this definitely feels like home. I have family and friends here, or seem like family.
"So I was staying with friends this week. It's just been a fun week. It's been busy first week back in the US, but just always feel special coming back here. I wish I could more often. Definitely, have a big smile on my face this week."
Nordqvist reached 21-under par 195 and has a two-stroke lead over opening round playing partners, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and American Stacy Lewis.
"Yeah, I had a great first two days with Stacy and Ariya. I think we were 36-under par as a group for the first two days. Someone seemed to be birdieing almost every hole," said Nordqvist.
Ariya had three straight birdies on the back nine to finish with a bogey free 66 score.
"I'm starting to make some putts today," Ariya said. "I missed a pretty short one, but today is good."
Ariya said Sunday will be a mental struggle.
"I'm going to be really committed with every shot I hit tomorrow."
Lewis recorded seven birdies and one bogey cruising to a six-under par in round three.
"Making those two birdies coming in was huge. With the way this golf course is playing, two back is not a big deal," she said.