|Pernilla Lindberg on the first tee|
Rebecca Hudson, Bree Arthur and Pernilla Lindberg are tied for the lead heading into the final day of the UniCredit Ladies German presented by Audi after a warm and breezy third round at Golfpark Gut Hausern near Munich.
The three players are tied at 10 under par 206 with the trio of Sandra Gal, Laura Davies and Anne-Lise Caudal two strokes behind.
Australian Arthur came to the fore with a blistering career-low round of 65, including six birdies, a bogey and an eagle at the par-five 11th.
The 23-year-old from Queensland will be contending for the first time on the Ladies European Tour on Sunday and described how it all came together.
“It was a great day. I was feeling pretty confident before I teed off because I was hitting the ball so well the last couple of days and the putts didn’t drop for me. Today everything went in and I made up for it.
“I started with a nice solid par at the first and lip-out for birdie at the second hole, so I was playing well but nothing was going my way. I just stayed patient and they started to drop. On the 11th, the par five, I chipped in for eagle so after that I was on my way. It was a really great day playing with Sophie Gustafson, a great experience, and yeah, it was a nice day.
“It was pretty windy. It was gusty in areas and started to ease off towards the end. I trusted the club that I had and knew that it was the right club and I guess just happened. I didn’t really know how to explain it. I’ve been hitting my irons good and I love creating shots, hitting fades and draws and stuff. To play shots in the wind and let it fade and draw in, that’s what I really love. I love working the ball.”
Despite this being only her second season on the tour and with just two top ten finishes, Arthur was full of confidence and revealed why.
“I’ve been hitting the ball well the last few events and it’s just come down to the putting for me. In Turkey, I finished tied for 16th or something but my stats tee to green were as good as the girl that won. I changed putter just to get some more confidence and today they all dropped, so hopefully I can go out tomorrow and do the same.”
A self-confessed petrol-head with a love for sporty cars, Arthur whizzed off to test drive an Audi R8 after her round and would love nothing more than to clinch the Audi A5 cabriolet car that comes along with the €52,500 first prize.
However, the leader board is extremely tight and Hudson also wants it badly. The 32-year-old Englishwoman from Doncaster vaulted into a share of pole position with a hole in one at the eighth in a flawless round of five under par 67 and then made birdies at holes five, 11 and 12.
It was her first hole in one in LET competition but her sixth overall, as she’d recorded four alone in practice rounds and she used a nine-iron to ace to 151-yard hole.
“I hit it really nicely, exactly as I wanted it and there’s always an element of luck that it went in, so very happy,” she said.
“It was a controlled round of golf. I was pleased with my golf and just enjoying it. We love playing in front of crowds; that’s what we play for and it’s like a drug: it gives you adrenaline,” she said.
A four-time winner on the LET, Hudson last won in 2008 and she added: “I haven’t been in this position for a long time. I had a terrible year last year and it’s nice to be in a position and given everything that’s happened this week, I think we’re all just enjoying it.”
Sweden’s Lindberg, who led after the second round at seven under, followed opening rounds of 68 and 69 with another 69 which included an eagle at the par-five 11th hole.
The 25-year-old from Bollnas, who has English boyfriend Daniel Taylor on caddie duties, made a great start with back to back birdies on the second and third holes, but bogeyed the sixth dropping into a four-way share of the lead by the turn. She bogeyed 13 but recovered by sinking a long putt at 15.
“I’ll take 10 under after three rounds any time. It was good steady play from me today. The first two days were a little bit wild. I felt like I had a bit more control today. I gave myself lots of chances and it was just steady,” Lindberg said.
Ranked fifth on the Ladies European Tour order of merit after six events played this season – with a best finish of third at the World Ladies Championship in China – Lindberg feels as though she is feeling more and more comfortable as the week goes on.
Gal, the home favourite and Davies, the 2010 event champion, are just two strokes back and having been paired together for the last round are sure to attract a large gallery. Equally, Frenchwoman Caudal cannot be ruled out as an excellent player in the wind.