SARASOTA, Fla. — Nancy Lopez opened a five-shot lead after three rounds of the $200,000 Sarasota tournament Saturday, firing a four-under-par 68 to fuel her bid to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame on the same course where she won her first tournament nine years ago.
Lopez, who started the day tied for the lead with Chris Johnson, pulled away from the field with four birdies on the front nine of the par 72, 6,124-yard Bent Tree Country course.
Lopez scored her first of her 34 Tour victories here in the 1978.
Lopez added birdies on No. 13 and No. 17 and finished the day with a 54-hole total 207, nine under par.
Her nearest rivals, at 212, were Cathy Morse and Kathy Baker, who shot 71 and 72, respectively.
Johnson, who failed to make a birdie on her way to a 74, and Kathy Postlewait, who shot 71, trailed Lopez by six shots.