Davies Trying to Hold On

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Laura Davies, who is looking for her second straight victory on the Ladies European Tour, struggled with a 1-over 73 Saturday to finish tied for the lead after the third round of the Women's Australian Open. Davies was joined atop the leaderboard by fellow Englishwoman Suzanne Strudwick at 10-under-par 206.
 
Defending champion Karrie Webb made a run at the lead but stumbled down the stretch en route to a 74. Webb finished in a tie for third at 6-under-par 210 along with Jackie Gallagher-Smith, Mhairi McKay, Becky Morgan and Rachel Teske.
 
Davies, who captured last week's ANZ Ladies Masters, got off to a good start with a birdie at the par-4 third.
 
The 39-year-old had a tough stretch of holes from that point on, however, as strong winds made play difficult at Terrey Hills Golf & Country Club. She had six bogeys and four birdies the rest of the way.
 
'I was 4-over after 11 holes and I hadn't hit a bad shot,' said Davies. 'It was very tricky out there. Even a slightly bad shot was magnified.'
 
Davies held the outright lead late in her round but bogeyed the 18th to fall back into a share of first.
 
'If there's a chance to win, that's all I can hope for going into Sunday,' said Davies. 'Whatever happens after that is in the lap of the gods.'
 
Strudwick had a much better day. Playing in the morning, she had nine birdies and one bogey for a sizzling 64.
 
'I just kept hitting it close and making the putts. The first nine was a dream and I only did one thing wrong when I three-putted the sixth hole,' said Strudwick. 'I haven't been in this position for a long time. Tomorrow it's just shot for shot, but I am going to do my very best.'
 
Australian rookie Rebecca Coakley struggled with a 5-over 77 to finish five shots off the pace. She was joined by Beth Bauer, Karine Icher, Ludivine Kreutz, Lorena Ochoa and Iben Tinning in a tie for ninth.
 

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