Christine Wolf broke out of the chasing pack with a brilliant five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Hero Women’s Indian Open to take a one stroke lead into the final round at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram on eight-under-par.
Having cruelly lost out on the title in last year’s final round, after she hit her third shot into the lake short of the 18th green to run up a double bogey seven and lose by two shots to Becky Morgan, the 30-year-old Austrian will be determined to make amends for that loss tomorrow.
The 18th proved to be her nemesis last year, as she was also leading in the third round before she twice found the water hitting to the ultimate green, running up a quadruple bogey nine.
Whilst some might have crumbled after the disappointment, she has used the experience to grow stronger mentally and so far this week, has played the hole in one-under-par, finishing with a superb birdie on Saturday.
She said: “From the start of the season I was just thinking, ‘I can’t wait to be in India’, just because I feel, I don’t know, I mean… Becky played really well last year, but I feel I played well on 17 holes every day. I just enjoy coming here and I guess the course suits my eye.
“It took me a while (to get over the heartache). I don’t know how long exactly, but it just kept coming up. It was mostly at the start of the season, but not anymore.
“My caddie keeps talking about it, so it’s sort of there, but I’ve practised a lot, especially those shots, and I’ve been hitting my wedges really well the last few days.”
Wolf birdied the fourth, 11th, 12th, 17th and 18th and said: “I played well and made some good putts for birdie and a really good save on eight for a par, which kept me going. I really enjoyed it out there.”
The first round co-leader, Meghan MacLaren, shot 69 and is one stroke behind after registering five birdies and two bogeys in her round.
She said: “I’m right there at the top of the leader board and I can’t complain too much.
“I played pretty solid and felt like I was somewhere in between the first and second rounds. I had to grind at times, which I did and I also hit some really good iron shots and holed some putts. I left a few out there but overall did things well.”
Halfway leader Whitney Hillier of Australia and Marianne Skarpnord from Norway are two shots off the pace in a share of third after rounds of 71 and 72 respectively, while fellow Norwegian Tonje Daffinrud sits in fifth.
Thailand’s Trichat Cheenglab is sixth, while Manon De Roey and Emma Nilsson are tied for seventh.
Teenager Anika Varma, 15, carded a 67 to move into a share of ninth place with fellow Indian Tvesa Malik, England’s Cloe Frankish and the 2017 champion Camille Chevalier from France.
Varma is making her third appearance in the championship but this is the first year that she has made the cut. A record 10 Indian players made the cut this year.