Walsh and Mehaffey to play final round together in Kenya

Ronan MacNamara
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Olivia Mehaffey (Credit: Tristan Jones/LET)

Ronan MacNamara

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Lauren Walsh and Olivia Mehaffey will be paired together in the final round of the Magical Kenya Open.

Walsh is nine shots off the lead on level-par after a second successive round of 75 while Mehaffey endured a mixed round of 73 to lie on one-over.

Walsh, who held the first round lead was just three off the pace at the halfway stage but three bogeys on her back nine saw her slip back into the pack in a share of 16th place.

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Mehaffey meanwhile was going really well after birdies on 1, 2, 9 and 11 but a rollercoaster finish saw her double bogey holes 13 and 17, bogey sixteen and birdie eighteen to lie on plus one.

The pair played with each other on Irish teams as amateurs and they will be reunited on Sunday.

“We played on a few Irish teams coming towards the end of her amateur career and when I had just started with the ladies team. We crossed over for two years in college so I know her quite well,” said Walsh.

“It’s always nice to see an Irish face around the place, there are a couple of Irish caddies out here too and we tend to take over wherever we go so it’s great.”

Alessandra Fanali and Shannon Tan are tied at the top of the leaderboard with a score of nine-under-par.

The duo both sat in a share of third place at the halfway stage of the tournament and posted rounds of 67 (-6) to have a five-shot lead over third place at Vipingo Ridge.

Having been in the penultimate group of the day it was a bogey-free day for Fanali, who was a rookie on the LET in 2023, as she produced a round of six-under.

The Italian rolled in birdies on the second, fourth, seventh, ninth, 14th and 18th holes to move to the top of the leaderboard.

“It was a great day,” said Fanali. “This golf course is very tough and with this wind, it’s not easy to handle it but today was fun. I had great shots, some good putts and a chip-in as well. It was everything you could have asked for. I’m pretty happy about it!

“I have been trying all week to be very calm and take it shot by shot and I think that’s what is working very well for me and being in the moment. I’m doing a lot of meditation this week. That’s why it’s going well, I think.

“Tomorrow, I think it’s just going to be the same as the last three days. I will take it shot-by-shot and I will give it a go. It would be cool to win of course, it would be my first win as a professional, but on the other side I have a chance and I’m going to try and we will see what’s going to happen.

“It was so nice playing with Shannon [Tan] today, we have the same timings such as walking on the golf course and the same shots pretty much. It was easy-going and it would be fun to play tomorrow together again.”

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