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Teske On Course for Second Straight Title

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Rachel Teske managed just an even-par round of 72 Saturday but her lead grew to four strokes through three rounds of the Wegmans Rochester LPGA tournament. Teske stands at 7-under-par 209 through three rounds.
'It feels good to be in the lead any time I guess,' Teske said. 'It was a little bit rougher out there than I thought it would be and I tried to hang in there. I really didn't have any birdie opportunities on the back nine but it was good to finish off with a good putt.'
Brandie Burton and Stephanie Louden each fired rounds of 2-under 70 to move into a share of second place at 3-under-par 213. Soo-Yun Kang and Se Ri Pak are also at minus-3 after even-par rounds of 72.
Teske, who won a four-way playoff at the Giant Eagle Classic last week, had a steady round at Locust Hill Country Club. She opened with three consecutive pars. She rolled in a birdie at the par-5 fourth to move to minus-8.
After another par, Teske made her lone mistake of the day when she bogeyed the par-4 sixth. She went on to par the final three holes on the front side.
Around the turn, Teske made an up-and-down par save at No. 10. Then at the 13th, she made another strong up-and-down par to extend her run to eight straight pars. A.J. Eathorne, who was close to Teske at the time, double-bogeyed the same hole to fall off the pace.
'The ball was sitting up high and I kind of felt like it would come off high and I played the shot just how I wanted and that kind of pumped me up,' said Teske of her chip on No. 13. 'You've got a pin back on that hole and then you miss it left, it's pretty difficult to get up-and-down.'
After coming up short at the 18th, Teske ran home a 15-footer for par to cap her round of even-par 72. She heads to the final round with her largest lead.
'It's tough because you're not really chasing anything I guess,' said Teske of her large lead. 'When somebody is in front of you, you know what you're trying to do.'
Teske, who has two straight top-10 finishes, knows it will be important to stay focused during the final round.
'This is my fifth tournament in a row so I've been a little bit tired and the course is tough,' Teske said. 'Every shot demands 100-percent and that's tiring in itself.'
Louden moved into contention with a pair of late birdies. She notched two birdies and a bogey on the front side before a bogey at the 12th. She capped her round with back-to-back birdies from the 16th.
Burton had a pair of birdies on the front nine, but they were erased by a double-bogey at the par-4 13th. She closed out her round in fine fashion with birdies on each of the final two holes.
Kang had a double-bogey and a bogey on the front nine to fall to plus-1. She caught fire on the back side to get back into contention. She birdied the 11th and 12th, before back-to-back birdies from the 14th got her back to minus- 3.
Pak mixed three birdies and three bogeys over her round.
'The last three days for me was a struggle on the greens,' said Pak, who has six top-10s in 10 tournaments this season. 'The last couple of weeks my putting has stopped. I mean my ball never finds the cup. I just really need some birdies out there.'
Meg Mallon, Marianne Morris, Grace Park and Silvia Cavalleri are tied for sixth place at 2-under-par 214.
Eathorne, who held second place after each of the first two rounds, struggled to a 4-over 76. She is tied for 10th at 1-under-par 215 with 10 other players.
She dropped a shot at two, but quickly recovered with a birdie at the next. Eathorne bogeyed the sixth, but made back-to-back birdies from the seventh to get within one shot of the lead. Around the turn however, she double-bogeyed the 13th, then had three more bogeys to close out her tough round.
Karrie Webb will likely not defend her crown as she stands at 2-over-par 218 through three rounds. She carded a 1-over 73 Saturday.

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