Englishwoman Melissa Reid will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Oates Vic Open tomorrow after shooting a superb third round of six-under par 67.
Reid started the day four shots behind the overnight leader Dane Nicole Broch Larsen, and wasted no time narrowing the gap to two shots after a sizzling start with birdies at the opening two holes. Reid kept her foot firmly on the accelerator making a superb eagle three at the par-5 fifth hole, following up with another birdie at the 6th to find herself alone in the lead at 13 under par after Broch Larsen had faltered early dropping four shots in her opening six holes.
The 29-year-old missed her share of birdie chances through the next five holes before holing from two metres for birdie after hitting a fine tee shot on the par 3 12th hole. She arrived at the drivable 280-metre par 4 15th at 15-under for the tournament and proceeded to smash her driver pin high to ensure another birdie on her card.
Reid’s momentum was halted briefly at the par four 16th hole after she flew the green with her second shot and was forced to get up and down for a bogey, but the ship was steadied when the Derby native punched home a par putt from two metres for par at the par 3 17th hole.
As she had done most of the day Reid proceeded to hit two superb shots to the front of the green at the par 5 18th hole, before disappointingly three-putting for a par and a 6 under par round of 67, meaning the five-time LET winner would sleep tonight on a two-stroke lead.
Clearly frustrated with her finish Reid felt that she had not capitalised on her many chances today, especially on the par fives on the back nine. “I feel like I have struck the ball really well all week and also in the Bahamas two weeks ago. The difference is that I am starting to make some putts at important times. I did leave a few out there today, I had a lot of chances and not making birdie at 14 standing in the fairway with a 9 iron for my second shot and also at 18 not making birdie there is a bit disappointing.”
“I kind of needed that pressure on my putting because I’ve worked extremely hard on my putting and not been rewarded for it yet. I spoke to my coach Kevin (Craggs) last night and got one little tip about balance.”
Reid also spoke of her fondness for playing in Australia and how comfortable she feels here “I always get a lot of support when I am here. Aussies like to work hard and play hard and that is me really. To win here would be like winning an Australian Open, the crowds are massive and it is a great atmosphere playing out here, this is a great field and I will need to play well tomorrow to win.”
The 2017 Solheim Cup is well and truly on Reid’s radar and she has her sights firmly set on making the European team this year.
Reid currently sits 11th on the European Solheim Cup standings and she said: “I need to get Annika’s (European Captain Annika Sorenstam) attention. It would be hard for me to qualify automatically, but a win here would really help me.”
Two shots behind Reid at 13-under-par are Victorian Su Oh and talented American youngster Angel Yin, with Spaniard Belen Mozo, Australian Amateur champion Hye Jin Choi and German star Sandra Gal a further shot back at 12 under par.
The final round will start at 7:45am local time in Australia from the first tee on the Beach Course at 13th Beach Links in Barwon Heads, with live streaming from one hour before the leaders tee off.
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