Steady Davies beats the jitters

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The Independent Online

Laura Davies overcame windy conditions and her own nerves on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead after three rounds of the Harvey Penick Invitational at Onion Creek in Austin, Texas.

Tied for the lead with Sherri Turner at the start of the day, the Briton shot a two-under-par 68 for a seven-under total of 203. Davies led Susie Redman and Tammie Green by three shots with the first round co-leaders, Sherri Steinhauer and Sweden's Charlotta Sorenstam, another stroke away. Steinhauer bounced back from Friday's 76 with the afternoon's best round, a four-under 66.

Davies had three birdies and a bogey and was the only player with three successive rounds in the 60s.

"That's probably one of my better rounds I've had in contention," she said, but added: "I've never made any qualms about the fact that, when I'm in contention, I get very nervous, very hyper and very jumpy.

Trying to join Australia's Karrie Webb as the only multiple winner on the LPGA Tour this year, Davies started quickly with a birdie on the first hole. Keeping her driver in the bag for the sixth straight round, she knocked a one-iron to five feet.

Davies hit a birdie at the par-four tenth hole, but sent a one-iron over the green at the thirteenth for her only bogey.

After three pars, she hit a wedge off the tee at the 144-yard seventeenth hole and followed with a six-foot birdie putt.

Turner stumbled to a five-over 75 that dropped her seven strokes back at even-par 210.