Angela Stanford leads Americans' charge

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Angela Stanford shot the best round of the week Saturday, a 6-under-par 66.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- As the sun set Saturday on a crowded leader board at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis was tied for 23rd.

The good news? Five American golfers were ahead of her, four among the top 10, including Angela Stanford, who shot a 6-under 66 for the best round of the week.

Lizette Salas, 23, is at 9-under and in second place going into Sunday’s final round, three strokes back of leader Inbee Park, while Stanford is at 6-under and in a six-way tie for third along with Jessica Korda, 20. Paula Creamer, 26, is tied for ninth at 5 under. Cristie Kerr, 35, is tied for 17th at 2 under.

“I think it’s cool to see [the young American’s] names up there, and they have a lot of energy,” said Stanford, 35. “It’s fun to watch these young kids play well. I think our future is very bright.”

Salas had five birdies Saturday, and Stanford had seven.

“These pin placements were pretty accessible today,” Stanford said. “I was a little surprised that leaders aren’t completely running away. I’ll tell you, anything happens here. … I think five shots out and you still have a chance here on Sunday.”

As added motivation, double points are awarded here toward standings for the Solheim Cup team, which will face Europe on Aug. 13-18 in Parker, Colo.

“I think any time it’s a Solheim year, as an American you want to be playing well,” said Stanford, a four-time Solheim Cup team member. “I think if you can play strong in the majors, captains like to see that, too.”