Sweden’s rising star Caroline Hedwall moved a step closer to leading the new class of 2011 at the Ladies European Tour’s Final Qualifying School on Thursday.
Hedwall retained her overnight lead with a fourth round of one-under par 70 on the North Course at La Manga Club in Spain. She will take a three stroke cushion into Sunday’s final round at seven-under-par 281.
Jaclyn Sweeney of the USA carded a fourth round of four-under 69 on the South Course to remain in second at four-under 284. Sweeney is three ahead of Spain’s Adriana Zwanck, who carded a three-under 70 on the South Course to move to one-under-par overall.
Hedwall, 21, from Loddekopinge, who plays at Barsebäck Golf Club, birdied the third, fourth and seventh holes, but dropped shots at the 11th and 13th.
She said: “I played really well the front nine and nothing really worked on the back nine. I got it to three under at the turn but was two over on the back. I three-putted once and I missed one green, that’s all.
“My first birdie was from about a metre and then I holed two more from within five metres. I could have putted a little better on the back nine. On 11 I had a long second shot, a five-iron which I hit in the bunker but I managed to get it within two metres, then missed the putt. I missed a few more coming in. I don’t know why; it just happened. It was frustrating on the back nine, because I missed a couple of putts.”
She said she hoped to follow in the footsteps of her former Swedish amateur team mate Anna Nordqvist, who won the Qualifying School for the 2009 season.
Sweeney, 21, from Anderson near Boston, fired six birdies and two bogeys and was also targeting the top spot. She said: “I putted better today and I really like the South Course. There was no wind so you could really be aggressive and go at pins and just pick your target. It was a good day today.
“Tomorrow I’ll just try to pick up some birdies I left out there today. Hopefully I’ll go really low tomorrow; that’s my goal, to see how much I can push myself.”
French amateur Lucie André kicked off her fourth round with a hole-in-one on the North Course at La Manga Club. André played an eight-iron to ace the 119 metre/ 130-yard second hole. It was her second hole-in-one and she saw it bump just past the hole and spin back in. She carded a two-under round of 69 and finished the day in fourth place at level-par 288.
|An ace start for Lucie Andre|
Australian Stacey Keating and Spain’s Belen Mozo are in a tie for fifth at one-over, with Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang alone in seventh.
55 players made the 72-hole cut of 303 at 15-over par. The five-round qualifying event was cut to the low 50 players and ties.
Those making the cut will compete in Sunday’s final round on the South Course only, starting at 9.30am from the first and 10th tees. The leaders will go off the first tee at 10.50am.
At the completion of 90 holes the top 30 players will earn their full card for next season’s tour in category 8a. Those in positions 31 to 50 and ties will earn an exemption status in category 9b with limited tournament starts.