Englishwoman Georgia Hall will take a two lead over defending champion Marianne Skarpnord into tomorrow’s final round of the Oates Victorian Open at 13th Beach after shooting a third round 2 under par 71.
Hall started the day at 7 under par, one shot ahead of young Danish star Nanna Madsen and four ahead of the defending champion Skarpnord
In an afternoon where the north-east wind gusted at times up to around 30km per hour, the overnight leader was off to a steady if unspectacular start making the turn in even par. Hall made birdies at both 10 and 11, two of the tougher holes on the 13th Beach “Beach” course, and another at the last to sign for a 2 under par 71.
Hall was relieved to finish with a birdie at the 18th hole after holing a tricky putt from around 2 metres. ”I hit the ball really well from tee to green today, two under is probably the worst score that I could have shot to be honest. On the back nine I kept missing birdie chances and was trying not to get frustrated and to finally make a putt on the last is a really nice way to finish. I love playing links golf and playing in the wind so this event really sets up well for me. We started off with just a little bit of wind and then it really got up in the middle of the round which changes the course so much. On the 12th hole I hit a 9 iron from 150 yards straight over the green which shows how strong it was out there.”
Hall has held the lead this week since midway through the first round, and says that this is a position she feels very comfortable in “Obviously to be in this position it means you are playing well but I do feel really comfortable leading. I won the Open De Generali Strasbourg on the LET Access Tour in 2014 leading from start to finish and also the Youth Olympic Gold medal the same way. While I like leading I won’t go out thinking about winning tomorrow. There are too many great players playing tomorrow to think about that, I will just go out and just play and enjoy it and see what happens at the end of the day” Asked if she will be watching the scoreboards on the course tomorrow Hall said that she would watch every few holes but not every one of them, and will certainly be looking to see where she lies heading into the last few holes. “I think it is important to know where you are lying as you may need to change your game plan in certain situations”
Hall has never met defending champion Marianne Skarpnord, but says that she knows what a good player she. They will be joined on the first tee at 11:50 tomorrow in the final group by young Frenchwomen Justine Dreher, who went about her business quietly today and remains in contention at 6 under par alongside the dangerous and talented Danish player Nanna Madsen.
Skarpnord was both delighted and frustrated with her third round 69, which included three birdies at the 3rd 4th and 8th holes, an eagle at the par 5 5th hole and a single bogey at the 2nd hole. She too felt that she had left a few shots out there today, parring each of her last 9 holes on the back nine.
Tournament favourite Karrie Webb had tournament organisers on edge this morning after three-putting her opening 2 holes before playing flawless golf from there in shoot a third round 3 under par 70 and finish at plus 2 and in a tie for 27th place which ensured that Webb would make the 54 hole cut to 35 players. Webb was one of the many morning starters who took advantage of the benign conditions, while former world number 1 Dame Laura Davies could not make up the extra ground needed to qualify.
For completed round 3 scores go to http://alpg.com.au/tournament.php?id=4250&pid=1150&sec=lb
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The final round will start at 7:30am on the Beach course at 13th Beach tomorrow.