Thai LPGA stars Prima Thammaraks and Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras will take a 3 shot lead into tomorrow’s final round of the 2017 Gold Coast Challenge, after both shooting 4 under par rounds today to sit at 6 under par. Indian sensation Aditi Ashok sits just 3 strokes back at 3 under, while Katherine Kirk and local amateur Rebecca Kay are lurking a further shot back at 2 under par.
The 24-year-old Thammaraks played in the slightly more favourable morning conditions today, even though there is no doubt that the players who played late on Thursday and early today found the worst of the conditions. She impressed mixing 4 birdies and an eagle at the par 5 15th hole with a lone bogey at the sixth hole, and commented that each week she plays she continues to learn about her game.
“Last year was my second year as a professional and I feel like I made a big improvement and if I can keep building on that then I will be in a good position,”
“I have been in this situation before but it was a couple of years ago. I am learning more about this course each day so am editing my plans as I go so now it is a case of going out there and executing”
Conditions on day two were again sweltering, and with the greens quickly drying out it seemed likely that Thammaraks would take a lead into the final round. However her compatriot Thanapolboonyaras had other ideas and played a flawless round of golf with birdies at the 8th, 9th 15th and 18th holes to add a second round 69 to her opening 71.
The 18-year-old already boasts a professional victory, taking out the ALPG-Thai LPGA co-sanctioned Thailand LPGA Masters in Bangkok in 2016, which qualified her for both this week’s RACV Gold Coast Challenge and next week’s Oates Victorian Open.
Both Thai players currently hold non-exempt cards on the LPGA Tour and will be splitting their time between playing there and its secondary Symetra Tour in 2017. They will both be hoping to secure a win tomorrow, which in addition to the $27,500 winners cheque would secure a start in the upcoming ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
Indian teen Aditi Ashok should ensure that both leaders keep an eye in the rear-view mirror tomorrow, she has been one of the hottest players on the planet for the past 6 months and will be seeking her third professional victory tomorrow.
The Australian challenge is by no means done and dusted, with Katherine Kirk and Rebecca Kay just 4 shots back at 2 under, with fellow Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith 6 shots back at even par.
Former world number one Dame Laura Davies is also still in the hunt at 1 over par.
The final round will begin tomorrow at 7:40am, with the final group teeing off at 10:50am
Entry is free for spectators.
Second round scores and final round draw
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