Ellen Smets (left) and Lara Tadiotto (right)

The English team’s nearest challengers Tadiotto and Smets, praised Johnson’s shot making and Hudson’s putting.

“I love to play with Trish. She is such a nice competitor. She hit some wonderful shots and she is controlling the ball fantastically,” said Tadiotto, adding: “We didn’t hole as many putts as Rebecca. She must have had 18 putts today, I don’t know. She saw the hole like a bucket. It’s a different format tomorrow so you don’t know. Maybe we have a chance. We will try our best.”

The Spanish team of Paula Marti and Tania Elosegui, who lay in fourth place after the second round, struggled in the four-ball better-ball. Yet Elosegui’s birdies on the back nine contributed to a 72 and the home nation lay in share of fifth position entering the final round.

Wales made the most significant run up the leader board, having started the day 14 shots behind the leader. Eleanor Pilgrim and Lydia Hall combined superbly to card a five-under-par 67, placing them in a share of ninth on one-under-par. The final round takes place on Sunday, with the leaders teeing off at 10.33am local time.

Background:

The inaugural VCI European Ladies Golf Cup features four balls on days one and three, with “The Valencian Cup Format”, a variation on greensomes, played on days two and four.
The Valencian Cup Format is where two competitors play as partners. On playing a par 3 hole, each partner will lay one stroke from the teeing ground and one ball in play will be selected by the side. This ball will be played alternately until it is holed according to the foursome format and rules of golf.

On playing a par 4 hole, each partner will play one stroke from the teeing ground. Each player will then play her partner’s ball for their second stroke. The side will then select the most advantageous ball in play and this ball will be played alternately until it is holed according to the foursome format and rules of golf.

On playing a par five hole each player plays her tee shot, each player then plays her partner’s ball for the second shot, and player’s then play the ball played by their partner for the third shot.

The most advantageous ball in play is then played alternately until the ball is holed according to the foursome format and rules of golf. Penalty strokes do not affect the order of play.