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Flawless Sagstrom takes charge at Bonville

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Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom cruised to a bogey-free 68 on Saturday and takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville.

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.”

While Sagstrom made it look easy, several players struggled in the blustery conditions. Iturrios had a horror start when she found the water off the tee and double bogeyed the first hole. She bogeyed the ninth and went to the turn in 38, but came back with a level par 37 for a 75.

Green also double bogeyed the first, but made four birdies in a 70 to bounce back into contention.

Skarpnord, on the other hand, made five birdies on the front nine, including three in a row from the second hole, but the Australian-based Norwegian who has three LET titles dropped two shots on the back nine for a 69.

Herbin also made a fast start with four consecutive birdies from the fourth hole and finished in style with a pair of birdies on 17 and 18 in a 67. She is looking to become the second French winner in Bonville following Celine Boutier’s victory in 2018.

With Swedish duo Daniela Holmqvist and Jenny Haglund tied for seventh on two-under-par and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen in ninth on one-under, there are nine players within five shots of the lead heading into the final day and five further players, including Irish rookie Leona Maguire, a stroke further back in a share of 10th place.

The fourth round gets under way at 7.05am local time and the leaders, Sagstrom, Skarpnord and Green, tee off at 9.05am.


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