Becky Brewerton (Wales) 70-67=137 (-7)
You haven’t played this course well before but you seems to have mastered it this year.
It’s been completely different. The course is playing a bit different this year. The fairways are quite firm and the greens are soft. It’s working really well. I’m hitting it a long way off the tee and it’s making it a lot easier. If you hit a fairway it runs out quite a lot as well so it’s going well. My wedges are going well. I’ve struggled with that here because I used to get too much spin on the ball. Quite a lot of the greens face back towards you but I’ve managed to control that a bit better this year. I think it’s because my swing’s a little bit better.
It’s good! I’m quite surprised to be honest. Coming into this week normally I’m happy to get around so being relaxed and not expecting too much might have helped.
How were the birdies made?
Hole 11 was a good drive; a wedge to four feet and then I birdied 12 as well. A good drive and a wedge again to two feet. On 15 I hit a nice drive again and had a sand wedge in. I holed a nice putt, about 10 foot left to right breaking putt. On 16 I hit a really nice drive again and had a wedge in and holed another good putt, about a 20 footer, quite a breaking one and it just dropped in. The first, I missed the fairway left, the same as yesterday, but yesterday I got lucky and had a shot. Today I just had to chip out. I made a good five in the end because I missed the green with my third shot and got up and down from the bunker. On four I could get there in two. I hit a four-iron into the bunker on the edge of the green and hit a nice bunker shot, stiff. On five, I hit a great drive again. I only had a six-iron into the green. I pulled it a touch but hit a nice chip from above the pin and holed a great eight footer there. On six, a bit like yesterday I missed a tiddler and three-putted. I did exactly the same as I did yesterday on 16. It was literally from two feet. The ninth was a good birdie because it’s not my favourite hole and I missed the fairway on the left. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t set up well on the eye for me on the tee. I hit a great shot into the green. I just drew it round the tree and because it was quite firm at the front of the green it just ran up. It was about an eight or ten footer down the hill so a nice way to finish.
That’s the good thing here: if you can hit the fairways it’s a big, big advantage. Some of the holes are quite tricky if you miss the fairway but if you land on the fairway, because they are quite firm, it runs out again. The ball is going a long way so it is making a lot of the holes a lot shorter and fairly straight forward if you can just hit the fairway. The par fives you can get on. It’s still tricky but I’m very, very happy with that. Considering how I’ve done here before I think it’s brilliant.
Did you look at the leaders’ scores?
No, not really. It doesn’t matter now; maybe on Sunday. I knew what they were from this morning. Sometimes it can put you off if you look too much!
Ana Larraneta (Spain) 68 (-6) 70-68=138(-6)
How would you describe your round?
It was very steady. I played well. I hit 14 greens, which helps, and I hit a few shots really, really close. It made it easier. I putted good: 28 putts, fairways, greens. I had a good day.
What have you been working on?
Well, I’ve just changed my swing. I went back to my old coach, Lawrence Farmer. I’ve been working with him since November because I’ve had a very bad two years so I just went back to him.
Are you still living in Spain?
Yes, but I go to see him in England. It’s not too bad when you travel all the time.
Did you get nervous when you saw your name on the leader board on 18?
I didn’t even notice how many under I was. I didn’t even think about it. I saw Marie-Laure de Lorenzi on the course. She asked me my score and I didn’t even know. I was a little shaky at the end but I’m very happy.
How did you make your birdies and bogeys?
On the par three I hit it really close to like half a metre. On the par five, the next one, was a bunker shot and a good putt. On seven, it was four feet. On eight, I three putted for bogey. On 13, which is a par five, I hit a bunker shot close. The other two, 15 and 16 were really close. They were given.
What does it mean? Does it give you more confidence?
Yes, of course. You’ve been working so hard and you can enjoy it. It’s a big relief. It’s nice to feel this way.
When did you last feel like this?
A long time, I can’t remember. Maybe three years ago. I’ve had a really tough time for the last three years.
What was the problem?
I tried to go a bit too technical. I erased that part and went back to what it was.
Do you now feel you can relax?
If you’re playing well you do relax, even if you’re tense, because you’re always going to be tense and you’re always going to be nervous. If the swing and the basics are good, you can see the shots are going well so you relax more.
What has changed about your swing?
Before I used to sway from side to side. I just keep it more steady and compact, that’s it.
Excited for the weekend?
Yes, of course. A new tournament starts tomorrow. This is over now. I will just have lunch and practise everything.
Nicole Gergely (Austria) 71-67 (-6)
Nicole, what can you tell us about your round?
It was pretty solid. I hit 18 greens which was the first round ever. The feeling was good, I had the right clubs. There were a few chances I missed but overall I’m just happy.
Do you rate this as one of your best rounds?
It’s one of the best. I had five under in Finland, last week in Austria I finished with four-under, so it’s really going well at the moment. Five under is my best round in a tournament so that’s good.
Why do you feel you are playing well?
The whole year is going well, my best so far. I started well. I didn’t play so well in the middle of the season but now it’s coming back again. I’m just so confident. My putting is good.
Do you feel you can keep this going?
I hope so. It’s a new situation now, leading. I think I was once leading in Switzerland this year. We;ll see. Everything is possible.
Caroline Afonso (France) 71-67 (-6)
Caroline, minus five today. How did you do it?
I’m very happy. My golf is very good. My putting and driving is excellent.
How many greens, fairways and putts did you hit today?
17 greens, 13 fairways, 30 putts.
Have you been working with Philippe Mendiburu?
Is he here this week?
No, he is in Biarritz.
What have you been working on?
Chipping and hitting the greens with the second shot.
How does it feel to play at home?
I play at home but I am very happy to shoot 67 today at home in France.
Anja Monke (Germany) 70-69 (-5)
How would you summarise your round?
It was pretty good. It was very solid. I hit some good shots and some bad shots. It’s normal. It feels good. I like it here, obviously.
How is the course playing compared to last year?
It was a lot drier here this summer than the last summer was. There is way more roll on the fairway. I have never seen my ball bounce that far with the tee shot. It makes it play a little shorter sometimes but you have to watch out that you don’t hit through the fairway.
How did you make your three birdies in a row?
I was on the green in two on 13 and had a two putt for birdie. I hit a good shot on 14, it spun back and it was three metres short of the flag. A little right to left. I made that one and the next one a little more difficult: three metres left to right, slightly downhill and I made that one too. It was nice.
How do you feel about your position?
It’s fine. There are a lot of girls out there who can shoot a low round this afternoon. Everything is possible on this golf course. I am pleased with my round and we will see how the weekend goes.
Are you feeling confident?
Sure! Just play golf: I like it.
Carin Koch (Sweden) 71-68 (-5)
What was the best part of your round today?
Probably putting. I putted quite well. I took advantage of some chances. A little up and down: a few bad drives and a few really good shots. I just kept patient and made the putts when I needed to.
What brought you back to France?
I’m going to play in Europe most of the time now. I have been travelling back and forth to America most of the year. I am tired of leaving the family for two or three weeks at a time. I feel like I need to be home with my boys. I’m going to play closer to where I can go home more often. I’ve been missing Europe anyway so I thought this week, I like it here, I’m familiar with it and it’s an easy trip from Sweden so why wouldn’t I come back.
Will you play next week?
No. I’ll go back home. I was hoping to get an invite for Madrid so I didn’t want to sign up for Tenerife just in case because then it would be three weeks away from home again, so I didn’t sign up for next week. I’m going to go home and I’ll play in Milan for sure and then Dubai and next year.