South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace and Spaniard Belen Mozo are all set for a spectacular showdown in the final round of the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Golf Club Hubbelrath in Düsseldorf, on Sunday.
On nine-under-par, the pair hold a one stroke lead over home town heroine Sandra Gal, In-Kyung Kim and second round leader Katie Burnett.
Mozo could capture her first Ladies European Tour victory after expertly plotting her way around the testing, hilly and tree-lined layout, with three birdies, two bogeys and an eagle on the par-5 17th in perfect conditions on Saturday.
After carding a 69, the 27-year-old from Cadiz said: “On this course, you can have a feast of birdies. It’s not a long course, especially now it’s drying out and you don’t need a driver. I haven’t used a driver the last two days and I was teeing off with lots of hybrids. It is so bouncy and slopey that you have to be very accurate on your lines. I think the key is going to be on the greens. The greens are soft, they don’t have a lot of break, so whoever rolls in more putts tomorrow is going to take back the trophy.”
A nine-time Ladies European Tour champion, Pace signed for a third-round of 68. Five birdies made amends for a blemish on the first hole and the 35-year-old from Paarl said: “It was a slow start. I made a bogey on the first again and it hasn’t been kind to me, that first hole. I didn’t quite get it going until the ninth hole and we had a little chat after that, like, ‘Come on, you’re only two behind,’ and I picked up the pace a little bit, pardon the pun.”
Gal made the most of moving day as she rocketed from a tie for 11th at midway into a share of third courtesy of a sensational 66. Tied for 52nd after an opening round of 74, followed by a 68, she could barely believe that she will tee up in the last group: “It was a good day today but I’m a little overwhelmed. The crowds were so nice on the 18th and they kept clapping. It was so much fun to play well in your home country and at your home club, especially.”
Two strokes further back in a share of sixth place are Camilla Lennarth, Angel Yin and Ursula Wikstrom. After a four-under 68, the 2015 champion Allen is one of nine players within four shots of the lead, on five-under-par. The LET Order of Merit leader believes that defending is “do-able” as she came from five back to win at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club last year.
“That was the goal today really, to get in the mix, so I’m happy,” she said. “I was hitting it close today and if I’d putted better it would have been a much better day. I had a lot of opportunities and if I hit it like that and putt a little better tomorrow I think I’ll be in good shape.”
The final round of the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters tees off at 7.50am, with the leaders going out at 11.59am and is set to be a spectacular showcase of world class golf in glorious weather.