Dewi Claire Schreefel shot a new tournament record 63, but just failed to threaten the run-away leader Shanshan Feng who is still going strong with just one round to play in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday.
The 27-year-old Schreefel from Alkmaar in the Netherlands, starting the day a good nine shots off the pace, set the tone for a stunning charge up the leader board with a birdie on the first. She kept the momentum rolling all the way through, finishing with four birdies in a row.
With this bogey-free 63, which bettered the previous tournament record 64 held by Sweden’s Louise Stahle since 2007, Schreefel has jumped to second place at 13-under, still five shots behind Feng, who carded a third-round 67.
France’s Gwladys Nocera, who shot a 68 for the time in a row, was a further one shot back at 12-under, one ahead of Germany’s Caroline Masson and Cindy Lacrosse of the United States.
It may be business as usual for Feng, but Schreefel produced a round to remember. “I played really solid, tee-to-green and it my best round ever. Obviously, I am delighted with my efforts,” Schreefel, who turned professional in 2008.
“I hit a few more greens and made the up-and-downs that I needed to. I only had 26 putts which was good,” said the Dutch professional, who finished tied for fourth place in the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in December 2010 to earn full playing status on the LPGA for 2011.
“Rounds like this one come along once in a while, but I am feeling quite comfortable with my game. I think another under par round is definitely possible,” said Schreefel who up picked up four shots on the front nine and five on the back.
China’s Feng mixed seven birdies with two bogeys in her 67 and comfortably kept up her dominance in the tournament, promoted and organised by ‘golf in DUBAi’
“I think I've done pretty well for three days and I think I'm going to stick on my same game plan. Like I said earlier, my goal is just Top‑5, so it's no pressure,” said Feng, the only player from mainland China to win on the LPGA Tour.
“I think I was kind of a little nervous maybe at the beginning, so I wasn't really making a lot of putts. I did make two easy bogeys, and then after that, I think maybe the players in my group, they gave me a lot of pressure because they were keep making putts and putting it really close to the pins.
“Then I think I handled that pressure really well. I had quite a come back. I had three birdies in a row for the last three holes, so I think I'm back in position, and still confident.”
Meanwhile, seasoned Laura Davies, who is also a ‘golf in DUBAi’ ambassador, made her presence felt with a 66 to go eight under for the tournament to keep alive her hopes of raking in a top-five finish.
“I played much better and hit more fairways which was good. I will have to go low again in the final round. I will try and see what happens. It will be an all-out attack again like it was today,” said Davies, the winner of 80 professional titles worldwide.
“Winning the tournament is slightly out of my mind at the moment purely because I’m so far back,” said the most decorated English golfer.
Indeed, the chasing pack will have to produce something special if they aim to track down Feng on Sunday.