Leona Maguire hasn’t taken long to announce herself to the Ladies European Tour on debut at the Australian Ladies Classic in Bonville.
The Cavan professional went into moving day looking for a low-one and she duly found it, firing herself into a share of 10th spot after a brilliant four-under par 68.
Maguire had said yesterday that she felt she’d been unlucky with the draw over the first two days given the weather, but primed to take advantage of an early start this morning, she found five birdies on her way to a superb round of golf.
Now within just six shots of the lead, on a course that reminds her of the one she used to romp home regularly at when playing at Duke University, it’s all to play for heading into Sunday’s final round for the former world amateur number one.
She has Madelene Sagstrom to catch after the Swede cruised to a bogey-free 68 on Saturday and takes a one-stroke lead into the final round at the Pacific Bay Resort.
Sagstrom, who was six shots back after the second round, has a 54-total of six-under-par 210 at Bonville Golf Resort in Coffs Harbour.
West Australian Hannah Green, halfway leader Nuria Iturrios from Spain and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord share second place, with Australian amateur Doey Choi a shot further back in solo fifth and Celine Herbin from France in sixth.
Sagstrom made four birdies in warm and breezy conditions to break out from the pack and put herself in prime position for a first Ladies European Tour title. The 26-year-old from Upssala dominated the Symetra Tour in 2016, winning three titles before topping the LET’s final qualifier.
As a rookie on the LET, Sagstrom represented Europe at The 2017 Solheim Cup as a captain’s pick. A solid performance this week could boost her Rolex Women’s World Ranking status and pull her into contention for an automatic selection.
“My goal today was to stay patient and make clear decisions and that’s what I did,” said Sagstrom, who spotted a wild koala sitting on a swinging branch left of the 15th fairway during her round.
“I’ve had the same game plan all week so I’ll just go out with the same attitude and hope I can roll those birdies in and win the tournament. I’ve had some experience of being in contention so I’ll go out tomorrow and try my best. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself. It’s just about finding that momentum and enjoying it.”