England’s Holly Clyburn came into this week's Bing Lee Fujitsu Women’s NSW Open with no expectations, she is now one round away from clinching the title.
The Ladies European Tour winner has posted rounds of 69 and 66 to sit atop of the leaderboard at 9-under-par and one clear of Victorian Bre Elliott, who shot the equal low round of the day, a seven-under-par 65. Two shots back and right in the mix is defending champion Joanna Klatten (68), Switzerland’s Fabienne In-Albion (68) and NSW Nikki Garrett (65).
Clyburn round included five straight birdies from the 3rd to 7th holes to go out in 31. She stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes before recovering with birdies on the 13th and 14th to get back to eight-under-par. She finished off her round in style with a birdie on the par 3 18th.
After her round she spoke about her fast start “I got off to a nice start, I had five back to back birdies.”
The five straight birdies is something she had achieved before, “Couple of years ago, I remember, like, when I was 15 playing in an English stroke play event and I had a bit of a birdie blitz, and my mum surprised me with new golf shoes with ‘birdie blitz’, so I was going for another ‘birdie blitz’.”
Clyburn is looking forward to the chance of winning her first NSW Open, “Yeah, absolutely, I didn’t have any expectations coming in here after being injury (hip) last week and had to pull out, so I am just taking it day by day and enjoying my golf at the moment.”
For Elliott her score was a day late, “Yeah, I am really happy, I thought it could have happened yesterday but I couldn’t get the putter going, then today it was really consistent and I didn’t get into too much trouble”.
Putting was the difference for Garrett, who currently leads the Club Series Bonus Points competition.
The defending champion is lurking and will be one to watch, last year she fired a course record, 63, in the final round to win. “Definitely happy with my position, definitely it is more fun to know you have a chance the next day. “ Klatten said after her round.
Sharing sixth place at six-under-par and still well within strike is first round leader Rebecca Artis and Sarah Kemp. NSW’s Shelly Shin is at five-under-par and is a tie for eighth and leads the amateur race by one shot over fellow Sydneysider Elizabeth Elmassian.
The cut was made at five-over-par and 57 players will contest the final round for their share of $125,000.
The Bing Lee Fujitsu Women’s NSW Open is renowned for its close finishes and it is shaping up that way again.