England’s Melissa Reid carded a course record third round of nine-under-par 62 at Club de Golf Terramar on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Sitges, Spain.
The 29-year-old from Derby, who claimed her sixth Ladies European Tour title at the Oates Vic Open in Australia in February, made nine birdies in her first 15 holes but bogeyed the par-5 16th to effectively rule out equalling the LET’s all-time scoring record of 11-under for 18 holes. However, she nailed a long, curling putt on the 18th green for her 10th birdie of the day, sealing a personal career low round, against the stunning backdrop of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
She said afterwards: “It was tough out there today: it was windy, but I’m very happy with a 62.
“Me and my caddie Benji were very careful with our club selection today due to the wind and we did alright. We got the clubs right and put them pin high. I’ve got some new clubs in the bag and they’ve made a huge difference with my distance control, so I’m really happy about it.
“It’s obviously nice to have a four-shot lead but as you can see, there is a nine-under out there. I’ve got Carlota, Aza and Anna behind me. I’ll try not to feel like I’m in the lead but feel like I’m chasing and try not to take my foot off the gas.
“I felt that I did a couple of good days’ work last week with my coach Kevin Craggs. I wasn’t happy with the way I was feeling with my swing in California, so we’ve changed things up a bit and I’m feeling more comfortable with it now.”
Anna Nordqvist, Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Muñoz and Florentyna Parker are tied for second on 10-under.
Nordqvist made a hole-in-one at the 13th, to win an Omega watch. It was her first since she famously holed in one to win her doubles match in The 2013 Solheim Cup and her fifth in total.
After signing for a 67, she said: “I wasn’t too excited after making a bogey on 12 but I hit such a good 7-iron on 13, it was all over the pin and started working early. I’ve had a lot of close calls the last couple of years, but none have gone in, so I was pretty excited to see it go in actually.
“It was cool to see Mel shoot a low round today. I still haven’t figured out these greens yet and I’ve been a bit clueless but hopefully I can figure it out and catch her tomorrow.”
Fellow Solheim Cup players Ciganda and Muñoz from Spain delighted the home galleries with rounds of 64 and 67 respectively.
Ciganda said: “I’m happy with my round and happy to have a chance tomorrow. I played pretty solid, starting with a birdie on number one and I made an eagle on number nine. I’m playing well and excited for tomorrow.”
After a bogey-free round, Muñoz said: “I played much better today; hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself opportunities so it was kind of an easy round today. Four back doesn’t seem that bad.”
Parker, who is looking for a victory in order to boost her chances of Solheim Cup qualification in August, birdied the last for a 66 to ensure that she will play in the last group with Ciganda and Reid.
She said: “I played really well on the front nine and some putts dropped. I was hitting it close and it was fun to be four-under after nine. I was hitting it the same, but nothing happened, which was a shame, but luckily the last one dropped.”
Solheim Cup player Karine Icher, Swedish rookie Jenny Haglund and Pamela Pretswell are tied for sixth on eight-under, while England’s Felicity Johnson and Holly Clyburn are tied for ninth. Veteran Dame Laura Davies moved up into a share of 11th place with a six-under-par 65.