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Pettersen stays hot in LPGA finale

NAPLES — Suzann Pettersen wasn't worried that it took her eight months into the LPGA Tour season before she won, saying on the eve of the season-ending Titleholders that "it takes some time to get this machine going."

The engine was purring Thursday at TwinEagles, where Pettersen birdied two of her last three holes for 6-under 66, giving her a share of the lead with So Yeon Ryu, who already has clinched rookie of the year, and Sun Young Yoo.

Yoo had a five-shot lead until giving up three shots on the last two holes with two three-putts.

Stacy Lewis, the LPGA player of the year, needs to win the event to have a shot at winning the money title. She was within two of the lead after eagle on the par-5 13th, but the 27-year-old American dropped two shots coming in and settled for 70.

Pettersen went 20 tournaments to start the year without a win until she broke through with back-to-back victories in Asia. She's playing as if she doesn't want the season to end, even though she already has one eye toward next season: "I still feel like I have the best golf ahead of me. I'm not too worried if it's season 2012 or season 2013."

She played in the same group with Cristie Kerr, who opened with 67 and was one shot back along with Na Yeon Choi.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 68, Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse 69 and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson 71.

The warm weather and only a gentle breeze allowed for good scores, with 48 players at par or better among the 73 in the field.

Hong Kong Open: Spain's Javier Colomo shot 6-under 64 to take the first-round lead, leaving top-ranked defending champion Rory McIlroy nine strokes back. McIlroy said he felt lethargic after shooting 73. Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez was a stroke back at 65 along with Australia's Andrew Dodt in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

AUSTRALIAN MASTERS: Matthew Guyatt upstaged the marquee players in the PGA Australasia event, shooting 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead after the first round in Melbourne. Fellow Australian Adam Scott had five birdies on his final nine holes to join defending champion Ian Poulter and Michael Hendry at 67.

Pettersen stays hot in LPGA finale 11/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:07am]

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