RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. —
“She’s a strong competitor, but I tried to chase her until the last hole,” Choi said.
Ewart Shadoff, playing in the last group of the day off first tee, made four straight birdies — the last with a 20-foot putt on the No. 14 — to take the lead at 5 under. She missed a 4-foot par putt on the par-4 16th to drop back and scrambled to save par on the par-5 18th after her drive found the deep right rough.
“I played really consistently, got on a birdie train in the middle of my round,” said Ewart Shadoff, the 25-year-old Englishwoman won played at New Mexico State. “I was hitting a lot of greens and making a lot of putts. ... The last three holes, the wind picked up.”
Anna Nordqvist and Amy Yang were a stroke back at 69.
Nordqvist is trying to regain the form she showed as a rookie in 2009 when she won the LPGA Championship and LPGA Tour Championship.
“Most of all, it just feels good that pieces of the puzzle are coming together and things I’m working on are paying off,” Nordqvist said. “I’m very happy about that.”
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis had a 73. She made a triple-bogey 6 on the 14, three-putting after her tee shot trickled into the water.
“I’m definitely disappointed, but I made some putts there on the back nine,” Lewis said. “I just kind of had to fight through it a little bit today.”
Lewis won the 2011 tournament for her first LPGA Tour title.