|Rising star Charley Hull aiming for her first professional victory
English rookie Charley Hull and Carlota Ciganda of Spain share the lead heading into the final round of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
Hull, 17, from Northamptonshire, fired a four-under-par 69 at National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, on Saturday for a three-round total of four-under, while Ciganda moved back into top position with a one-under 72.
Hull posted five birdies at holes one, five, 10, 13 and 14, before dropping one shot at the 18th.
“It was a really good round but I’m very disappointed because I three-putted the last hole. I haven’t parred that hole yet,” said Hull. “It was a really good day but I’m a bit annoyed. You want to be as good as you can.”
Hull has had a sensational start to her professional career this year, with ties for second in both the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco and South African Women’s Open.
She played in the last group with the eventual winner Ariya Jutanugarn in Morocco and when asked if she would feel nervous going out in the final three-ball on Sunday, she said: “I think I handled myself quite well and I’m looking forward to it.”
On her season so far, she added: “I didn’t expect anything but I played in quite a few events last year and did well and I felt like I was playing well so I kind of did expect… I wanted to come out with a bang, and I have.”
Ciganda held a one shot lead on four under after the first round but slipped a stroke behind the leaders with a second-round 74 before hitting back with a third-round 72, which included three birdies and two bogeys on the card.
“I did one-under today, so I think it’s good to make under par on this course,” said Ciganda, 22, from Pamplona. The second year tour player, who won twice on tour last season before taking the money list, added: “I think I played better than the result. I missed a few putts out there and I’m happy because I’m at the top and there is one more day so I’m going to try my best. I hit good shots, very solid off the tee, so I’m going to try to keep it up.”
|Solheim Cup prospect Carlota Ciganda targeting her third win on the LET
Meanwhile, a bogey-free round of six under 67 put the defending champion Christel Boeljon right back in the mix as she finished just a stroke behind the leaders on three-under-par.
The 25-year-old from the Netherlands had birdies on holes two, four, six and then three in a row on 12, 14 and 15.
“A good round, I’m really happy with it and no bogeys, so my game felt really good and the stats are very good, so I’m really pleased,” said Boeljon, who hit 15 fairways on the tight, tree-lined course.
On her second-round 78, the two-time tournament champion, in 2011 and 2012, added: “Yesterday, I felt like I didn’t get my rhythm. I didn’t get my tempo and I was fighting to find it all round long. “Today, the swing felt really solid; I had a good rhythm and therefore I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and made some good putts.
“I know you can make bogeys here and I know you can make a lot of birdies. Its not easy, so if you have a good round, it’s a really good round, but if you have a bad round, it can go fast. I’m happy to be back near the leaders. I don’t know how they are going to finish but it’s nice to be close and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow I’m just going to try to do the same: play one shot at a time.”
England’s Trish Johnson held a share of the lead for much of the day but bogeyed the 14th and 18th slipping back into a share of fourth place with South African Lee-Anne Pace and England’s Florentyna Parker on two-under-par.
Overnight leader Laura Davies recorded a five-over 78 and dropped back into a share of 10th with four other players. She made a triple bogey on 18 after finding the trees, the water and then a bunker beside the green.
Fellow halfway co-leader Carmen Alonso of Spain ended the day a stroke further back in a share of 15th on two over par after a six-over 79.
After heavy rain on Saturday morning, the course handled the weather well and the majority of the round was played under sunny skies, although a couple of showers are expected for Sunday morning.
The final round will be played from two tees on Sunday with the leading trio of Boeljon, Hull and Ciganda going out last from the first tee at 10.20am.