|Iben with her husband Lasse – hoping to finish in style|
Denmark’s Iben Tinning and England’s Melissa Reid share a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
The pair tied on the eight under par mark of 208 after Reid carded a third round of 68 and Tinning went round the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club in 69.
Tinning, the 2005 European No.1, is hoping for a fairytale ending to her farewell tournament.
The five-time tournament winner has a serious hip injury and is stepping away from competition on Saturday after 15 years on the Ladies European Tour.
With three top ten finishes from four appearances in Dubai, the tournament holds a special place in her heart and she will remember the tearful ending to her 2007 campaign when she tied for second behind Annika Sorenstam.
Her title hopes drowned in the lake as her ball found the water in front of the 18th green resulting in a double bogey, but she said that she believes in fairytale endings.
“I’m actually a little bit of a romantic. Probably doesn’t look like that, but I am,” said Tinning, who has her husband Lasse Tinning-Degn on her bag for the week. “This morning, when I went out to play, I had my stomach… I was really nervous the first few holes. And it was funny and I said to my husband, I said, “Well, this is actually what I’m going to miss.” So I’ve just got to enjoy it, even though it was a bit terrifying.”
Reid, who captured her maiden LET title at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in May, will be hoping to spoil Tinning’s farewell party. She carded five birdies and one bogey to share the low round of the day with course record holder Louise Stahle.
“I was really pleased. 68 is the best I’ve shot around here. So all in all quite happy, and it was a good finish to finish with a couple of birdies,” Reid said.
|Mel Reid gunning for her second title|
“It would be a nice little Christmas present, wouldn’t it, to win this week. But there are 18 more holes. There’s a long way to go. But I’ve put myself now in a good position so we’ll see if I’m in the final group, or second final group; so I know what’s going to be happening in front of me. Yeah, another 68 tomorrow would be really nice.”
A stroke behind the leaders, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden shared third place with the Welsh halfway leader Lydia Hall.
Hall started with a one stroke lead but double bogeyed the second after finding the water. She three-putted the ninth for a front nine of three-over but rallied with four birdies and one bogey on the back nine to remain level for the day.
Hall, who has added 10 yards to her drives over the past 10 weeks as a result of intensive swing and strength coaching, still has a chance to capture her maiden victory as a professional.
She said: “It was a bit disappointing but I hung in there the back nine. I struggled on the front nine; a couple of mistakes here and there on putting. I struggled with the pace today. I’m glad I’m still in the same position I was in yesterday. So I haven’t dropped any shots, and hopefully I can have a good day tomorrow and see what happens really.”
Nordqvist, the 2009 LPGA Major and Tour Championship winner, also fought hard, mixing five birdies with four bogeys for a 71.
She jostled for the lead for most of the day but said: “I didn’t hit my irons very well, but hung in there with a good short game. I made a couple easy mistakes coming in, but it is what it is. I had a good chance for birdie on 18 but I didn’t make it. But I’m only one shot out and I look forward to tomorrow. I have nothing to lose, just going to go out there fire at it.”
The first round leader Florentyna Parker ended the day in a share of seventh on two-under par. American Michelle Wie, struggling with a back injury, finished the day eight shots off the pace in a tie for 17th after a round of 73 that included a double bogey on the par-five last hole.
The fourth and final round begins at 7.30am on Saturday, with the leading pair of Tinning and Reid starting at 12.18pm.