Leona Maguire was making steady progress into the top-20 when play was suspended due to darkness during the third round of the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino.
The Cavan professional bounced back from a tough opening nine where despite a birdie on her opening hole, two bogeys and a double saw her out in 39.
Tenacious as ever, Maguire hung tough as she clawed back two birdies on the way in, with her moving day revival cut short in the dark of night on the par-4 17th.
Although one-over-par for her round and two over for the tournament, the former Blue Devils star moved up a couple of places into a tie for 18th in tough conditions in Spain.
However the conditions aren’t proving much of a deterrent for Anne Van Dam who is three strokes clear at the top but will have to wait until Sunday to complete her third round.
The 23-year-old from the Netherlands, who won her second LET title at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain two months ago, sits at nine-under-par, three strokes clear of nearest challenger Azahara Muñoz at La Quinta Golf Resort in Malaga. Van Dam will face a three metre putt for eagle on the 12th green when play resumes at 8.45am.
Muñoz remains within grasp of a third consecutive Spanish Open title and is playing in the last group with Van Dam and The 2019 European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew, who sits in third position on five-under-par.
The trio will resume their fourth and final round at 11.45am, which means that they have 25 holes to complete on Sunday.
Muñoz, who became the first Spanish player to win her national title at Aloha Golf Club two years ago and who won again at her home golf club Guadalmina last year, said:
“I’m feeling good and I played well. I’m feeling comfortable. I think I’m going to keep giving myself chances and with 25 holes left, anything can happen, especially with the weather being so-so. It’s going to be a long day, so I’m going to go home now and have a good night and tomorrow is a new day. I could have played better today, but you’re not going to play perfectly every day, so hopefully the putts will go in tomorrow.”
Spanish pair Luna Sobron and Natalia Escuriola Martinez share fourth place on four-under-par after 13 holes, alongside England’s Georgia Hall, the Ricoh Women’s British Open champion, after 12.
Celine Herbin from France is in the clubhouse on three-under-par after carding a four-under-par 67.
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