Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands shot the round of the day and will share the lead with Slovenia’s trailblazing golfer Katja Pogacar heading into the final round of the ActewAGL Canberra Classic.
Van Dam shot an 8-under 63 in hot and still conditions at Royal Canberra on Saturday to share the lead at 11-under but admitted it could have been much better.
Starting her round with consecutive birdies on the first and second holes, she birdied five holes in a row from the sixth to the 10th and had a birdie chance from 15 feet on the 11th and an eagle chance from 20 feet on 12, after she drove the green, but three-putted and lost momentum. The 23-year-old from Arnhem fought back with a birdie on 15, but three-putted for a par on the last hole.
The three-time Ladies European Tour winner, who won the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open and Costa del Sol Andalucia Open de España late last year, told reporters that thoughts of a 59 went through her mind after making seven birdies in her first 10 holes.
Pogacar, the first player from Slovenia to qualify for the Ladies European Tour, holds a share of the lead and will play in the final group for the first time, with Van Dam and Scot Carly Booth, who carded a 65 and is one shot back on 10-under.
Pogacar started with a bogey on her first hole, the 10th, but birdied the next two holes before making an eagle on the par-5 18th. She then carded four more birdies on the front nine at the first, fourth, sixth and ninth, holing a breaking putt from 25 feet.
Booth, who had seven birdies and a bogey, commented, “I’m feeling positive about this year. It’s a new year to get myself in gear and I feel it’s on the right track and a lot of it is self-belief. I’m starting to believe in myself again.”
Jiyai Shin is right behind in a share of fourth position with Belgian Manon De Roey.
Shin played in her first competitive round of the year on Friday, but was back in the swing with a 64 on Saturday.
Swede Madelene Sagstrom lies in sixth and Hannah Green is the best of the Australian contingent in a share of seventh with Meghan MacLaren. Ireland’s Leona Maguire is tied for ninth, six shots from the lead, alongside Finn Noora Komulainen.