Zuzana Kamasova took a commanding four stroke lead on the third day of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
Kamasova, bidding to become the first Slovakian to triumph on the Ladies European Tour, posted four birdies against three bogeys in a superb display of skills and nerve at Golf du Soleil in Agadir.
The 32-year-old’s round of 71 gave her a 54-hole aggregate of six under par and placed her four clear of Australian Sarah Kemp and Kiran Matharu of England.
Slovakia’s sole representative on the Ladies European Tour since 2006, Kamasova effectively lost her card last year and is playing on an invitation this week.
She said: “I’m going to stick to what I’ve been doing. I’m really enjoying myself out there and I would like to do that tomorrow. I just take it one shot at a time; I’m enjoying it; I’ve never been in that position; it’s great and I have nothing to lose.”
Her career best finish was a tie for ninth at the 2008 Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China and when asked what a victory would mean to her, she replied: “I’m just taking it as it comes, trying not to think about it.”
She spent the first two months of the year skiing at home near Gray Bear Golf Club in Talé, after an accident in the New Year put an end to her snowboarding.
Matharu is also targeting a maiden victory. The 22-year-old from Leeds is tied for second after a second successive round of 70, which included three birdies and one bogey.
She was striking the ball well and said: “Today I played a lot more solid. I seem to be getting better every day and hopefully the putting will be better tomorrow.”
Kemp, 26, from Sydney, felt that she scrambled for her 71, but her score was helped by an eagle on the par-four 12th hole, when she holed a five-iron approach from 145 metres into the wind and she said: “I think I hit it a bit fat and got lucky.”
In contrast to her playing partner Kamasova, joint overnight leader Anne-Lise Caudal endured a difficult day, but her good friend and compatriot Thomas Levet of France showed his support by following her progress from outside the ropes around the back nine. She was out in 40 after a double-bogey on the par-four ninth, but was back in one-over for a round of 76 and outright fourth place.
“Today was a bad day. I played badly, shot four over and the wind was the opposite direction to the first two days so it was a bit strange in the beginning. I didn’t hit the ball well,” said the 26-year-old from near Biarritz.
Morocco’s sole representative in the field Maha Haddioui, who is playing on her home course, struggled in the calmer conditions. She carded 77 to slip back into a tie for 31st place and said: “It was a bad day and nothing worked.”
The fourth and final round will be played from two tees on Sunday with the leading trio starting at 10.55am. After the round the winner will be taken to the nearby Golf du Palais Royal, where they will attend a joint prize giving ceremony with the champion of the Trophée Hassan II on the men’s PGA European Tour.