Linnea Ström has maintained the Magical Kenya Ladies Open ahead of tomorrow’s final round at the Par-72 PGA Baobab Course in Vipingo, Kilifi.
The 25-year-old Swedish pro golfer now holds a two-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard, having carded a round of level-par 72 on moving day to take her total to 3-under par 213.
She had a less-than-ideal start to the round, dropping shots at the first and the third holes before holing birdies at the sixth and ninth to card a total of 36 at the first nine. On the back nine, she holed a birdie at the 11th but then dropped a shot at the par-3, 12th, having found the bunker with her tee shot. She then holed a birdie at the 15th but dropped another shot at the 16th to finish the round with 36 for the back nine.
She will be looking to maintain her steady form at the event if she is to record the opening win of the 2022 Ladies European Tour season.
Speaking after the round, she said:
“It was a steady day. I started off a little bit tricky with two bogeys in the first three holes and that wasn’t ideal or what I was hoping for. But other than that, I think I managed to stay focused and stay in my own bubble and enjoy it out there. It was obviously windy today as well but some of the tees were moved up a little bit, so I think it played even a little bit shorter today. I did want to try and score a little bit lower than I did, but overall, I feel happy with how I played and hopefully I can get a good score tomorrow.”
Spain’s Luna Sobron Galmes finished the round in second place courtesy of an inspired performance that saw her card 68 to take her total for the tournament to 1 under-par 215.
Like Linnea, she had a tough start, dropping a shot at the first, before holing a superb eagle-three at the second, followed by a birdie at the third. She dropped a shot at the seventh but quickly made amends for it with consecutive birdies at the eighth and ninth holes for a total of 33 on the first nine. On the back nine, she holed consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th before holing a bogey at the 16th to close out the day with 35.
Speaking after he round, she said:
“I played really good, I was very consistent, and the key was to be patient because this course is crazy with the wind. It is very narrow, and the bounce of the ball is very hard, so the key was to be patient. That eagle was an extra. I hit a good drive and then a 6-iron to in front of the green and made a 15m putt. I was hitting the ball very well in the last few weeks, I have been playing in America and the results have been good. I’m going to think about shot by shot and try to do my best. I would like to win, of course, but I need to be in the present and just play.”
Completing the podium slots for the round was the German pair of Sophie Hausmann and defending champion, Esther Henseleit, who carded rounds of 71 and 69 respectively to take their total for the tournament to level-par 216; three shots off the lead.
Esther, who will be going into the final round with the memory of 2019 where she had to win it on the final day, played a perfect round, holing a birdie at the second and an eagle three at the 12th.
Speaking after her round, Esther said:
“My round today was pretty good and solid compared to the last two days. I was not really in any trouble, unlike the past two days where I holed silly bogeys. I still had quite a few opportunities that I didn’t take, but it was quite good.
“I can’t remember what the gap was going into the final round last time (2019) I think it was something like six or eight shots, but it (the current situation) is definitely better than last time. The course is playing much harder this year so, it is obviously much harder to play with ease, so, I am just going to embrace a positive mindset tomorrow and shoot as low as possible.”
The course played better today with 17 players recording under-par scores; more than double the number of players who combined to play under par or better in the previous two rounds.
Action in the fourth round of the tournament tees off at 8:30 am tomorrow.