(Porthcawl, 24 August 2003) Stephanie Arricau from France retained her lead after the third round of the £400,000 Wales WPGA Championship of Europe, despite carding a one over par 74 in almost perfect summer conditions at Royal Porthcawl GC.

Waugh – most experience

“I holed a couple more putts today,” said Gustafson. “The par fives were much more difficult as they are into the wind now, but I still think I need to go lower than 69 tomorrow, but with the course being unpredictable, it’s very difficult to say what I’ll need.”

But it is Arricau who, despite feeling nervous at the start of the day, battled her way around the course and with her best finish in three years as a pro a tie for fifth in the French Open this season, she admits she will be equally as nervous when she tees off.

“My game was much the same as yesterday,” she giggled. “The par fives were much harder, but I’ve not been playing them well anyway, so that didn’t matter really!

“My game is good, I was a little nervous for the first few holes and I expect I will be tomorrow. But this is why I practice so hard, to get into this position and tomorrow, I am really looking forward to it.”

But the chasing pack is hungry for victory with Waugh, without a win since 1996, will be gunning for the win.

“I played solid all day but had a bit of trouble on the back nine,” said Waugh. “But I think I did myself a bit of a favour dropping shots as I won’t have the pressure of going out in the final group. There comes a time in your career where being the player on the leaderboard with the most experience might have an advantage, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Two people not at the course who will be watching with great interest in how the final round develops are Mhairi McKay, who missed the cut by two shots and will undoubtedly endure the full gamut of emotions as she waits to discover if she remains in the top seven or is bumped out by one of her challengers.

The other is Catrin Nilsmark, who spent most of the night in a nearby hospital with serious back pains which caused her to retire after the first round. But Nilsmark has assured everyone here that she will be present to announce her team of 12 players, seven automatic qualifiers and five captain’s picks at the close of play.