Davies in contention despite disappointing start

Laura Davies recovered from a disappointing start to retain hopes of staging a successful defence of the one million dollar PageNet Tour Players' Championship in Las Vegas today.

Laura Davies recovered from a disappointing start to retain hopes of staging a successful defence of the one million dollar PageNet Tour Players' Championship in Las Vegas today.

With three wins in Europe and one in Japan this year, the 36-year-old from Surrey kept her sights on a first US title with a third round 71 that left her in joint fourth place and just two shots behind joint leaders, Se Ri Pak and Lorie Kane.

Davies had set out in second place, but five shots behind Pak.

However, although she had slipped back to joint fourth, closing the gap to two was as good as the news that England had beaten Scotland at Hampden.

"Yes, it's turned out to be a good day," claimed Davies, who had been less happy when she drove out of bounds and ran up a double-bogey at the second.

But she bounced back with three birdies to finish on eight under.

"I had set out hoping to make a good start to try and put the pressure on Se Ri so the six at the second was really annoying," she continued.

"But then Se Ri started to make a few mistakes and I actually let slip a number of chances. But it's still there for the taking."

Scotland's Janice Moodie also got into contention at one stage. But she double-bogeyed the short 16th after hitting her tee shot into water and another stroke went astray at the 17th. With a 71 she finished on four under.

South Korea's Pak, after a couple of opening 66s, struggled over the opening stretch and was disappointed to shoot 74 that left her having to share top spot with Canada's Kane, who had a 68.

They led by a shot from Juli Inkster, while world number one Karrie Webb was alongside Davies.

Adding to the intrigue in the final round, Inkster needs to win the title to pip Webb for the Player of the Year trophy.

Catriona Matthew and Helen Dobson, the other two British players in the elite 30 strong field, shot 72 and 71 respectively and finished on 214 and 217.

Pagenet Tour Players' Championship, Las Vegas, third round scores (US unless stated):

206 - L Kane (Can) 68 70 68, S R Pak (S Kor) 66 66 74.207 - J Inkster 70 68 69.208 - L Davies (Gbr) 71 66 71, K Webb (Aus) 68 70 70.210 - A Fukushima (Jpn) 72 71 67.211 - R Jones 73 71 67.212 - J Moodie (Gbr) 67 74 71, A Sorenstam (Swe) 73 69 70.213 - L Neumann (Swe) 76 70 67, K Robbins 68 72 73, N Scranton 69 69 75.214 - H Alfredsson (Swe) 74 72 68, B Daniel 73 69 72, C Matthew (Gbr) 72 70 72.215 - M H Kim (S Kor) 73 70 72.216 - J Stephenson (Aus) 71 76 69, R Hetherington (Aus) 70 75 71, M Hjorth (Swe) 71 74 71.217 - M Lunn (Aus) 74 72 71, H Dobson (Gbr) 76 70 71, B Iverson 71 73 73, S Steinhauer 72 71 74.218 - E Klein 74 73 71, C McCurdy 73 69 76.219 - S Turner 77 69 73.221 - K Kuehne 72 74 75, J Lidback (Per) 73 72 76.222 - M Mallon 75 74 73.226 - T Barrett 74 75 77.

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