(Newry, County Down 16 August 2003) England’s Alison Nicholas denied that she has victory on her mind as she shares the lead going into Sunday’s final round of the £150,000 BT Ladies Open at Warrenpoint GC in County Down.
|Sophie – steadier on Saturday|
“I’ve just got to play the way I’ve been playing,” said Nicholas, who theoretically could play her way into the top seven automatic spots with a win here and a win at next week’s Wales WPGA Championship of Europe, the final qualifying event for the 2003 Solheim Cup.
“I’ve been playing well over the last few weeks, but I just haven’t really strung four rounds together. I had a long chat with Karl at the British Open as I was getting uptight and something clicked and now I’m more neutral, regardless of what score I have.
“Karl has been a huge help and we didn’t really expect to have many results this year, so this is a huge bonus.
“I’m not trying to think too much and it’s been great to have three rounds like this and whatever happens, happens. I can’t force it, so whoever plays the best golf tomorrow should win.”
Gustafson played the first four holes of her round in one under and at the fifth hole, her luck disappeared as she racked up a double bogey at the short par three. But after draining a 25-foot birdie putt at the next and a six footer at the ninth, she was back on track.
Coming home, the Swede, who has won three titles in the last 11 months in Europe took full advantage of her big hitting and birdied the 12th, then each of the par fives on the homeward stretch to reach 13 under. And with a good par save at the final hole, the Swede was happy to share the lead.
“I was a little more steady today,” said Gustafson. “It’s going to be a fun day tomorrow, there are two more players within striking distance and the par save on the last hole was important. Other than that, it was really smooth all day.”