LPGA Tour and former Solheim Cup star Madelene Sagstrom is 6-under and holds a one-shot lead from Western Australia’s Hannah Green, Norway’s Marianna Skarpnord and 36-hole leader Nuria Iturrios after three rounds of the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville.
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Sydney amateur Doey Choi, who stunned the field to lead after the opening round, continued to impress with another solid even-par effort to be alone in fifth place at 4-under, with Celine Herbin at 3-under after the Frenchwoman carded a 5-under 67.
Jenny Haglund and Daniela Holmqvist share seventh at 2-under with Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen the last player in red figures at 1-under and outright ninth.
As it has for the last two days, it was wind that made Bonville a challenge for the field though Norway’s Skarpnord resisted the trend early with a brilliant front nine of 5-under.
A run of three straight birdies from the second put her in the mix and with back to back gains at seven and eight she went to the ninth tee with the outright lead.
“I think I just holed a couple more putts today,” she said by way of explanation of her front nine fireworks.
“I hit the ball pretty good too, but you still have to make the putts to make a number, and I did that on the front nine.”
As good as her opening nine was, however, Skarpnord struggled on the inward journey with two bogeys and no birdies though said she was pleased with her final result.
“It was like two different days from the front and back nine,” she said.
“But I feel pretty good with my game.”
Sagstrom, who played in the same group as Skarpnord, said she felt the key to getting to the lead had been patience.
“I’ve put my mindset this week to not getting upset and to not try too hard because it’s easy to try too hard, especially when the conditions get tough,” she said.
“So I’ve just tried to find that athletic ability to go out and play. I mean, we do this every day so somewhere in there you know how to hit it, you don’t need to construct those shots.
“I got the putter rolling and made a few, and I gave myself a lot of opportunities, so I was pleased with my game.”
The final round is shaping as a shootout with local favourite Hannah Green just one off the pace and yet to produce her best golf for the week.
A horror double bogey to start her third round threatened to derail her chances, but she regrouped quickly and went to the turn 1-under for the day and still well in the mix.
With a fourth birdie of the round at the 15th, she closed the gap to just one shot, and that was how the day finished.
“Not the start I wanted obviously which was pretty tough,” she said of the opening hole, “but happy with how I recovered the next couple of holes making some birdies.
“It was a tough day, but I felt like even though I shot two-under, I didn’t play as well as I could have.
“I have kind of mixed feelings about the day. Partly happy to be under par but partly disappointed not to have scored better.”
Sagstrom, Skarpnord and Green will tee off in the final group together tomorrow at 9.10am AEDT.
Live coverage can be seen on FOX Sports channel 507 starting at 10.30am.