“I drove it well: a lot of good drives, fairways. I missed only three greens. Unfortunately there were some that I didn’t make up and down so I’ve got to work on that.”
Stahle, 22, from Lund, made a hot start in her first visit to Dubai, with birdies on the first four holes. She then birdied the seventh before her only bogey of the day came at the eighth, giving her an outward total of 35, four-under-par.
After birdies at holes 10 and 12 she overtook Davies as the outright leader and pulled three strokes clear with two more birdies at the 15th and 16th holes.
“It tied my best ever round as an amateur but was my best round in two years as a pro,” said Stahle, who played on the LPGA Tour in 2006.
She is playing in her first year on the Ladies European Tour, where she is in line to scoop the leading rookie honours on Sunday, but she said: “I’m not really thinking about that too much.”
Stahle’s best finish on the LET this year was second at the Open de Portugal and she has recorded four top-tens this season in total. She was delighted to discover that she had bettered Sorenstam’s course record. “I didn’t know it was a course record but that is pretty exciting,” she said.
The LET’s leading rookie was pleased to be leading a tournament featuring the likes of Sorenstam, Davies and Gustafson, but ultimately, she said she saw them as equal competitors.