|Aberdeen Asset Management Ambassador Carly Booth
Scotland’s Carly Booth, England’s Florentyna Parker and Stacy Lee Bregman of South Africa hold a three-way share of the lead heading into the final round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland.
The trio is locked at three under par having played 36 holes in near-freezing conditions at Archerfield Links in East Lothian.
Parker’s 69 was the best round of the day and included an eagle at the par-five sixth hole, while Bregman and Booth shot rounds of 70 and 71 respectively.
Tara Davies of Wales had a 72 sits alone in fourth place on two under, with Italian Diana Luna and first-round leader Anne-Lise Caudal of France a shot further back on one under par.
England’s Laura Davies made a leap up the leader board into a five-way share of seventh place with a 70, as did Welshwoman Becky Morgan. South Lee-Anne Pace and English duo Melissa Reid and Elizabeth Bennett are also just three behind the leader on a total of 144, level par.
Despite periods of bright sunshine, temperatures were down to one degree Celsius by Friday afternoon, exacerbated by a biting wind and Parker coped best, displaying her links experience gained at Royal Birkdale.
The 21-year-old hit driver, five-iron, at the sixth hole, before putting in for eagle from eight metres.
The 2010 Dutch Ladies Open champion had tap-in birdies on the ninth, 12th and 14th holes, but three-putted the 10th hole before carding another bogey at the 16th after missing the green.
“I played really good the last two days. Yesterday was really steady: one birdie, one bogey. Today I got it going and had a good score,” said Parker.
“I was very good off the tee the last two days so I always had good chances and gave myself a birdie chance. I hit a lot of greens and made a few putts and hit them really close so just tap-in birdies. It’s challenging but it’s what we expect when we come to Scotland, so I was prepared.”
While Parker tasted success on the Ladies European Tour two years ago, Booth earned her maiden win as a professional on the Access Series a fortnight ago, which she hopes to use as a springboard to greater success and where better to secure her first LET win than on home turf?
“I’d be very, very happy, especially with Aberdeen Asset Management being one of my sponsors and being in Scotland. It would be a nice treat,” said Booth, 19, from Comrie in Perthshire.
“Playing with Catriona was quite nice, so I got more of a crowd with her, being at home. To be honest, I like playing in front of a crowd and it gives me more of a boost. It’s just nice to have people around and it was nice to have some familiar faces. My dad was here and my brother, even though they only watched three holes.”
Booth explained how she made a slow start, missing the first four greens, resulting in bogeys at the first and fourth holes, but she managed to make an up and down for birdie out of the bunker on hole six.
She hit her approach to five feet and holed for birdie on nine and then did the same on hole ten before closing with an excellent up and down from a bunker for birdie on 18.
Also daring to dream of a maiden win on the LET is Bregman, the 25-year-old from Johannesburg who suffered with pneumonia and a tennis elbow injury earlier this year.
Bregman, whose career best finish was a tie for second at the 2008 Turkish Ladies Open, carded three birdies and one bogey in the near-Baltic conditions.
After her round, she said: “That was probably the coldest round of golf I’ve ever had.
“It was just absolutely freezing cold out there. I played solid the last two days. I never really holed a lot of putts today but I hit it close and gave myself chances and that’s all I can ask for.
“My hands almost had pins and needles they were so cold. I literally had no feeling in my body so, just trying to stay as warm as you can and have as many layers as you can but something that you can still swing in.”
A crazy up and down on 16 was the highlight of her round, although she missed a birdie putt on 18.
A player missing a few missed putts was the 2011 event champion Catriona Matthew, whose second round of 72 left her at two over par.
Although five shots off the lead, she said: “You can have a six or seven under around here so anything’s possible.” She should know, having shot rounds of 70, 65 and 66 last year.
|Stacy Lee Bregman