Becky Morgan, Nicole Broch Larsen and Ellie Givens share the lead on four-under-par heading into the final day of the Hero Women’s Indian Open after a dramatic finish to the third round at DLF Golf and Country Club on Saturday: all because of a howler from overnight leader Christine Wolf.
The Austrian had a three shot lead on the 18th tee, but twice found the lake on the final hole, hitting her second and fifth shots into the lake running down the left side of the fairway.
A quadruple bogey nine ruined her card and saw her slip to three-under, one behind the leaders, alongside Felicity Johnson and Manon Mollé.
The contest is now wide open. Just four shots separate 18 players ahead of Sunday’s action.
Olivia Cowan, Noora Komulainen and Marianne Skarpnord are on two-under-par, with the recent Lacoste Ladies Open de France champion Caroline Hedwall on one-under-par.
There are a further eight players on level par, including Isabelle Boineau, who shot a 65 for the round of the week, Solheim Cup player Florentyna Parker and the leading Indian, Tvesa Malik.
Welshwoman Morgan, (above) the runner-up in 2015, is often described as the best player yet to have won on tour – with 22 top ten finishes – and she birdied the last for a 68.
“I was steadier today than I have been the last couple of days, especially the front nine. I had the same amount of birdies every day but today eliminated the big numbers, hence the four-under. It’s a tough golf course so you have to keep plugging at every hole and there’s no let-up. Today was pleasing but tomorrow is a whole new day so we’ll start from square one,” Morgan said.
Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen, a winner of four professional tournaments, including the Ladies European Tour’s 2015 Helsingborg Open, threw away her new putter on Friday morning and armed with her old one, began firing.
The pick of the putts was a monster downhill double breaker from 17 metres on the 17th and she signed for a 69 to end on four-under: impressive, especially considering she is suffering from a fever and had a nosebleed playing the 18th hole on the first day.
She said: “I was very close to having a nose bleed again today. I felt like it was really hot. The whole front nine, I felt like I could pass out any time. I made sure I kept drinking and ate some salty nuts. On the back nine, I felt a little bit better so hopefully tomorrow will be the day.”
Fellow leader Givens, (above), enjoys playing in the heat – holding a share of the lead heading into the final day in Abu Dhabi last year and a repeat here – a rock solid round of 70.
She said: “I’m really pleased with my round today. I hit the ball better than the last two days but had a cold putter, so I was a little frustrated but at the same time very pleased. I think when you’ve played this course a few times you understand where you can hit and can’t hit and just understand it a little bit more. You gain a little confidence, so that’s probably why the scores were lower today.”
Wolf had much to contemplate as she walked off, but her spirits remained high with all to play for on what promises to be a brilliant final day.
She said: “I don’t think it was pressure. This course takes a lot out of you, so it can happen that your concentration goes. I think I was getting a bit quick on my swings and hit a few fat shots, so it can happen quickly. Maybe it was mental tiredness, you have to focus on every shot, maybe it got the better of me. If this had happened yesterday, I would have lost the title, but now I have the chance to get it back.”
The final round begins at 6.45am local time and the leaders start at 10.50am. Catch all the action with live coverage on television, the LET website and Facebook from midday.