(Evian-les-Bains, France July 23 2004) World number one Annika Sörenstam edged towards her third Evian Masters title in five years as she showed imperious form with a seven under par 65 to lead on 16-under, three shots clear of England’s Karen Stupples heading into Saturday’s final round.

Stupples – always tomorrow

“I hope I’m playing with her tomorrow,” quipped Sörenstam, who could become the first player to win this title three times.

Stupples had no gripes and was delighted she kept in touch, giving herself the chance to become only the second Briton after Laura Davies to win the Evian Masters.

“At least I have another day,” said Stupples, who won her maiden victory at the Welch/Fry’s Championship just weeks after Sörenstam denied her on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“I didn’t really feel my best today and to finish three under par, I’m pretty happy about that. I really struggled to get the ball in the hole today and the finish at 17 and 18 really gave me a boost.

“You can’t gripe when someone shoots a seven under score and she played well as she usually does and she hit some great shots.”

Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa occupies third place one shot adrift of Stupples after a five under par 67 and Australian Wendy Doolan rattled off a three under 69 to claim outright fourth spot on 11 under.

And England’s Laura Davies will have her work cut out and in the final round will probably need at least a repeat of her opening round of 64 to contend for her third Evian Masters title and the $375,000 first prize.