Caroline Hedwall still in her Solheim Cup groove | Golf | CBC Sports

GolfCaroline Hedwall still in her Solheim Cup groove

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013 | 07:10 PM

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Caroline Hedwall of Sweden lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the CN Canadian Women's Open at Royal Mayfair Golf Club on Saturday in Edmonton.  (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Caroline Hedwall of Sweden lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the CN Canadian Women's Open at Royal Mayfair Golf Club on Saturday in Edmonton. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Caroline Hedwall, one of the heroes from Europe's shocking and lopsided 18-10 victory over the United States in Colorado last week, has kept her groove at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club for the 2013 CN Canadian Women's Open.
EDMONTON - The Solheim Cup has runneth over for Swede Caroline Hedwall.

One of the heroes from Europe's shocking and lopsided 18-10 victory over the United States in Colorado last week, Hedwall has kept her groove at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club for the 2013 CN Canadian Women's Open.

She checked in with the low round on Saturday, a sizzling six-under 64, for a 10-under 54-hole total and a one-shot lead. If she can stay on top the 24-year-old Hedwall will capture her first LPGA event to go with five wins on the Ladies European Tour and three more in Australia.

It won't be easy. Hedwall will be challenged from star-studded leaderboard. Defending champion Lydia Ko, 16, is at nine-under par after a third-round 67, to tie 2009 Canadian Open winner Suzann Pettersen, who also played a key role for Europe a week ago.

Another shot back, at eight under, are South Korea's I.K. Kim and long-hitting American Brittany Lincicome, the 2011 tournament winner.

"I'm just looking forward to tomorrow," Hedwall said. "It will be exciting to play in the last group. I won on the European Tour, now I'm just waiting for my first LPGA victory. We'll see. Hopefully, it comes tomorrow."

Hedwall's heroics

Hedwall's moment in the sun certainly arrived over the three days at the Solheim Cup, when she became the first player in the event's history to run the table with a perfect 5-0 record. She was a captain's pick and didn't disappoint the woman who added her to the team, Liselotte Neumann.

Hedwall's play even produced headlines back home for women's golf, something that has been rarely seen since the legendary Annika Sorenstam walked away from her competitive days after the 2008 season.

"I've heard back in Sweden it's been pretty big, since not even Annika could do that. That's what we have to do, we have to beat Annika to get any attention in Sweden," said Hedwall, whose twin sister Jacqueline plays on the Ladies European Tour.

"It was a lot of fun, and I was just happy I could win my five points."

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After Europe's victory, Hedwall, Pettersen and rest of their teammates partied into the wee hours of the morning.

"I heard some people went to bed at 4 a.m., but that's just me," Lincicome said with a chuckle.

Tired, but still smiling the European team boarded a charter flight along with 11 of the 12 American team members (Lizette Salas took this week off) and arrived in Edmonton around 2 p.m. on Monday. For Pettersen, it was straight to bed.

"Monday was a wash," she said. "Combined with partying and the lack of sleep and the kind of shape you're in on Monday, I checked into the hotel at 3 p.m. and crashed at 3:10. I woke up at 10 p.m., flipped around and slept until eight the next morning."

Finding her energy

Hedwall remarked that she only required nine hours of sleep when she arrived in Edmonton on Monday.

"I'm young, though," she said, looking at the 32-year-old Pettersen.

"I was a little tired Monday, Tuesday and also Wednesday. But when the tournament started, I think [her performance at the Solheim Cup] just gave me a lot of energy and self confidence, so I can't feel anything."

Both Hedwall and Ko swung out of the gate swiftly on Saturday. Hedwall made four birdies in the first six holes. Ko was four-under after the front nine.

Like Hedwall last weekend, Ko enjoyed a wonderful performance at the Canadian Women's Open at the Vancouver Golf Club last year when, at 15 years, four months, she became the youngest to win an LPGA event.

Last year, the unflappable Ko waltzed into the last round with a one-shot lead and out-dueled Inbee Park in the final round 67 to 69 for a three-shot victory. Ko appeared satisfied that her 67 on Saturday pushed her back into contention.

"I've been liking Canada so far," the New Zealand amateur said. "You never know what's going to happen tomorrow, but up until now I'm pleased with where I am, just one shot back."


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