Kelly Robbins found herself at the top of a far more crowded leaderboard then she had hoped Saturday, struggling to an even-par 73 in the third round of the du Maurier Classic in Oakville, Ontario.
“It was quite a grind for me, and it seems like every day someone gets hot,” said Robbins, who has a one-stroke lead over Brandie Burton and Juli Inkster. “It wouldn’t surprise me if someone crept up on the leaderboard.”
Robbins, who shot a tournament-best 65 on Friday, had a 10-under 209 total on the Glen Abbey Golf Club course. Burton, who has overcome knee, wrist, back and rib injuries in the last three years, shot a 66.
“It’s hard to keep up with the injuries,” said Burton, who had seven birdies - four on the five par-5s - and one bogey. “I’m 100 percent healthy right now, which I haven’t usually been at this stage of the year.”
The other players didn’t make it easy on the former Arizona State star either, with five of her fairway shots landing in divots.
“I had a lot of practice hitting out of divots,” said Burton, winless since 1993. “It’s nice to get the nerves working - I’ve got the butterflies flying around again.”
Inkster shot a 71. Rosie Jones (71) and Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann (73) were two back at 211, while Hall of Famer Betsy King followed at 212 with Cindy Figg-Currier and Tina Barrett. Australia’s Karrie Webb and Colleen Walker also remained in contention at 213.
Rathdrum’s Tracy Hanson shot a 76 to fall eight shots off the pace.
Phil Mickelson carded six birdies in a bogey-free round to hold off Nike Tour veteran Skip Kendall and maintain his lead in the weather-delayed International at Castle Rock, Colo.
Mickelson had a 54-hole total of 39 points under the modified Stableford scoring system, setting a tournament scoring record for the second straight day. John Daly set the previous three-round record of 31 in 1992.
Kendall finished at 34, and Stuart Appleby had 32 points. Jay Haas was next at 29, followed by Dudley Hart at 28. Nick Price was in a group at 27.
Play was suspended by lightning and rain for two hours.
U.S. Open champion Ernie Els leapfrogged 27 players on the leaderboard, scoring 14 points to raise his total to 25. Els had seven birdies in his bogey-free round. Former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett is tied for 13th with 24.
BankBoston Senior Classic
Bob Betley, a one-time motorcycle cop plagued by injuries in recent years, is holding off on plans to quit the Senior PGA Tour for a career building log cabins in Idaho.
Betley, 57, playing on a sponsor exemption, shot a 6-under-par 66 for a share of the second-round lead with Hale Irwin in the BankBoston Senior Classic at Concord, Mass.
“It’s nice to be here, it’s been a long time coming,” said Betley, who won the 1993 tournament for his lone tour title.
“I hit the ball terrible Friday and I called a man who has been working with me on my golf swing, Rick Deacon in Idaho. I’ve made some radical changes in my swing after three shoulder surgeries and four knee surgeries.
“I got things straightened away and today I hit some good shots. It was a pretty solid round.”
Irwin, 52, seeking his sixth victory of the season, shot a 67 to join Betley at 8-under 136 on the Nashawtuc course.
Tom Wargo was a stroke back after a 68, and Jerry McGee was two behind the leaders after a 70.
xxxx Du Maurier leaders Scores after the third round of the $1.2 million LPGA du Maurier Classic, played on the 6,367-yard, par-73 Glen Abbey Golf Club: Kelly Robbins 71-65-73209 Brandie Burton 69-75-66210 Juli Inkster 70-69-71210 Rosie Jones 69-71-71211 Liselotte Neumann 71-67-73211 Cindy Figg-Currier 69-74-69212 Tina Barrett 71-71-70212 Betsy King 71-69-72212 Karrie Webb 71-72-70213 Colleen Walker 68-72-73213