Mehaffey slips back with third-round 74 at SA Women’s Open

Kevin Kent

Olivia Mehaffey (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Kevin Kent

Feature Interviews

Latest Stories

Moving day at the South African Women’s Open on the stunning Erinvale GC would serve up a mouthwatering tussle at the top of the leaderboard. With the wind having mercifully abated, the pack would seize their opportunity and some top scoring performances were on show for round three. Olivia Mehaffey was unable to capitalise after an excellent second round and her two-over 74 would see the Banbridge woman slip back in the field.

Mehaffey began her Saturday in group six with ’24 tour winner Shannon Tan and local favourite, five-time winner of this event, Lily-Anne Pace for company on her was around the mountainous Erinvale. It was to be a tough slog for the entire three-ball today with her playing partners carding scores of +6 and +5 respectively for the day. Although Mehaffey’s +2 round would outshine her group, she would still slip back the order as we head into the final day in the Rainbow Nation.

Mehaffey would start brightly with a birdie on the par-5 3rd, but two bogeys would follow to see her hit the turn in 37 and +1 for the day. It was a similar story on her homeward leg today with two more bogeys and just the solitary birdie on her back nine coming on the par-5 16th. A 74 for today sees Mehaffey sit tied for 56th. There is still much to play for on Sunday as there are chances for low numbers around Erinvale when the wind is down.

Much of the action today was at the top of the leaderboard as overnight Leader Manon De Roey was seeing serious challenges to her top spot. She and Morocco’s Ines Laklalech would tussle at the top for much of the day with the two swapping positions as the round wore on. Laklalech was quietly putting together one of the rounds of the day including eagle on the par-5 7th and she would overtake De Roey at the top in the early afternoon. A bullish response from De Roey, however, saw here hit a streak of four consecutive birdies on her back nine beginning at the par-4 11th to regain her lead. Her consistency was to prove key today as challengers would slip up. Laklalech would card a disappointing double on the second last for her first and only dropped shots of the day to drop her back from the leader with a 65 finish. Another birdie from De Roey on the per-5 16th would see her pull four-clear of the Moroccan. De Roey would give one back on the 17th to close her day out three-clear at the top on -14 with Laklalech in second spot. Swede Lisa Pettersson would go around in 67 today to sit one further back in third. Momoka Kobori lies in fourth on -9 despite a damaging triple on her 11th today while the English duo of Gabriella Crowley and Rosie Davies are tied on -8 to complete the top five heading into tomorrow.

Speaking after her 66, our Belgian leader gave her thoughts on another fine round: “I tried to stay patient all day,” the Olympian said. “I started quite strong and created chances for myself. I thought it was going to be more windy and to be honest I prefer the wind because I can shape the ball more. But I just picked my targets and lines and tried to commit to every shot.” She was asked if she knew of the challengers who were hunting her down today: “When I saw the leaderboard on 13, I suddenly realised, ‘Ok, people are moving’. So, I decided to start moving myself. I played solid all day, despite the hiccup on 17. I hit it quite close in that stretch of holes. It felt like every putt I looked at I saw the line straight away and felt good about every putt.”

The top three will face off in the final three-ball tomorrow with the leaders taking to the course at 11am in Cape Town. De Roey will be aiming for another solid round to claim her second win on the LET, her first coming two years ago in Bangkok. Olivia Mehaffey meanwhile will start off on the 10th tee at 10.36am. She will look to emulate her start on Friday at the 10th to get herself into gear early and try to post a number.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.