The third round was brimming with action, as 20-year-old Brit Annabel Dimmock matched Hall’s course record, Mel Reid tallied six birdies in another stellar round and Hall carded 67 to take the overnight lead.
Commenting on her surge to the top, Hall said: “I’m going to be happy about my round today and when I wake up tomorrow it’s a new round. 18 holes is a lot of golf and anything can happen. I’m going to go out there and take it shot by shot and if I end up winning then that’s amazing.”
First and second round leader Kristinsdottir faced challenges from the start, opening with two bogeys – four in total – seeing the 24 year old slump to fifth at 11 under par. Sarah Kemp had a solid 17 holes with a slew of birdies and pars, before an unfortunate bogey on the 18th left her with a score of 67, good enough for second place at 14 under.
All eyes were on Dimmock this morning, as the young Englishwoman saw her front nine rack up four birdies before an eagle on the 11th. Dimmock almost stole the course record from British compatriot Hall, but faltered on the 18th with a bogey.
She said: “I think the 18th is really tough. I don’t know whether to go short of the bunker with the tee shot and leave a really long iron, which I think I’d rather, but when the pin is there you’re trying to hit a 10 yard green with a 6 or 5-iron.
Dimmock added: “I’m delighted but it was a bit of a negative finish. It was a tough last hole, so I’m still happy but not as happy as I would have been.”
The 11th seemed to be the hole for top shots today, with Sarah Schober, Belen Mozo, Ursula Wikstrom, Maha Haddioui and Minea Blomqvist all sinking eagles, while Italian Stefania Croche clinched the first Albatross of the tournament.
England’s Melissa Reid shot an impressive 65 to finish four under par at T3 with Beth Allen. Allen remained relentless, staying in the top three after a round of 69.
Reid said: “I got it going there for a bit and Kempy and I were battling it out for top spot. It was tough. I was reading too much into the line which is why I left a four foot putt short, which was just ridiculous. I’m back in the mix. You’re going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow because everyone is shooting low scores out here.”
Kemp said: “I played the front nine well. Mel and I had it going, so that was fun. The back nine plays a little bit tougher. Overall it was a good day.
“There are plenty of birdies out there, so I’m going to have to shoot a low number, maybe a little bit better than today. We’ll see.”
Gwladys Nocera will be frustrated after posting a 72 to finish T7 at ten under, considering round two saw her finish joint second with Holly Clyburn, who also dropped to seventh spot with Nocera.
Commenting on the final day ahead, Beth Allen said: “I’m not un-pleased but I felt that it was tougher and the wind was different today. I made two bad mistakes on the front nine, on eight and nine. I bogeyed the last, but had a shot at par. Three under is a good score but I feel this place is pretty score-able. I know I can do better and tomorrow is really exciting. I’m going to do my best. I will go as low as I can and be really aggressive because everyone is going to have that mentality.”
His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary at Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), owner of the event, met with Guest of Honour Annika Sorenstam at the course today. He said: “Having such talent at the first Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open is testament to offering world-class sporting events in Abu Dhabi. We would like to see more women participating in this sport and I believe the vision and hard work of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy will accomplish this.”
The Village saw growing numbers today, as spectators relaxed with complimentary massages and manicures from Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi. LET pro Nanna Koerstz Madsen visited the SNAG (Starting New At Golf) activation, helping introduce children to the game. Guest of Honour Annika Sorenstam even made an appearance to take a selfie with fans of all ages.
Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the final day, as live entertainment, food options and more surprise player appearances in the Tournament Village will take place.
Ladies from the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy got the chance to learn golf from Olympian Victoria Lovelady in the afternoon. The Brazilian showed the women the basics of the game as each lady – many for the first time – picked up a club and began to swing and hit the ball down the practice range.
The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open is free to attend and runs until Saturday November 5 2016 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
The FBMLO is sponsored by: FBMA, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, TDIC, Al Masaood, CNBC, Etihad, Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi and Omega. The event is free to attend and more information is available from www.fbmladiesopen.com.
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