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Harvey, Neumann share four-stroke lead

September 20, 1997

CANTON, Mass. (AP) _ Pushing each other with their strong play, Nancy Harvey and Liselotte Neumann made birdies on the 18th hole Saturday shared a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the LPGA Welch’s Championship.

The tournament took on a match-play appearance after Karrie Webb, winner of last weekend’s Safeco Classic, putted poorly on the last three holes and finished in a three-way tie for third.

The leaders, who played together, were tied at 10-under-par 206 after Neumann shot a 3-under 69 and Harvey a 71. They had been tied for the first-round lead, and Harvey was two strokes ahead of Neumann after the second round.

Webb shot a 71 and was at 210 with Rachel Hetherington, who had a 72, and Sherri Steinhauer, who had a 67. Carin Hj Koch’s 72 put her at 211.

Harvey is winless in her nine years on the LPGA tour, while Neumann has eight victories. But the native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, grew up playing in tough conditions and could have an edge over Neumann in the windy weather expected Sunday at the 6,137-yard Blue Hill Country Club course.

Harvey enjoys the conditions in Massachusetts. She was tied for the lead after three rounds of the Friendly’s Classic in Agawam last month but slid to seventh place with a final-day 75.

On Saturday, she had broken a tie for the lead with Neumann with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 389-yard 14th. But she bogeyed the next two holes and slipped into a tie at 9-under.

Both parred the 17th, and Neumann left herself a tough 45-yard shot out of the left rough to the 18th green. But her chip rolled just by the left side of the hole, and she made a 4-foot putt to keep pace with Harvey, who already had made a curling, downhill 8-footer.

Harvey was a bit steadier than she had been the previous two days when she made 16 birdies and seven bogeys. On Saturday, she had four birdies and three bogeys.

Neumann had fallen three strokes behind when she bogeyed No. 1 by three-putting from 12 feet. But after Harvey bogeyed No. 3 and Neumann birdied 4 and 5, they were tied again.

Neumann then took her first lead of the day with a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 7. But Harvey came back with consecutive birdies and finished the front nine with a one-stroke lead.

Webb moved within two strokes of Harvey and Neumann with a 25-foot birdie putt at 15. But her chances at a fourth victory this year were hurt when she missed a 1-foot putt at 16 and three-putted from 30 feet on 17 and fell to 6-under. With a chance for an eagle at the 469-yard 18th, she three-putted from 40 feet for a par.

Divots: Wendy Doolan of Australia had the second hole-in-one of the tournament, acing the 133-yard 16th. She shot a 73 and was 11 strokes off the lead. ... Defending champion Emilee Klein shot a 69 and was 3-under. ... Tracy Welch, winner of this year’s Massachusetts Open, shot a 78 after barely making the cut and was tied for the third-worst score at 225.

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