Maja Stark in cruise control at home

0
420
Maja Stark heads into the final day of the Creekhouse Ladies Open with a three-shot lead on the Ladies European Tour. Photo: Mark Runnacles/LET
Maja Stark heads into the final day of the Creekhouse Ladies Open with a three-shot lead on the Ladies European Tour. Photo: Mark Runnacles/LET

Maja Stark will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the Creekhouse Ladies Open, after a third round score of 71 (-1) kept her advantage intact. Aditi Ashok made some some progress by moving to T15 courtesy a 72 on Saturday.

Must Read: Shuttlers Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar double the joy in Paralympics

Four birdies and three bogeys during her day was enough for the Swede to lead the way after 54 holes in Åhus and keep the rest of the field at bay heading into the last 18 holes of the tournament.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ladies European Tour (@letgolf)


Things could have been even better for the 21-year-old – having been five shots ahead of her nearest challenger with three holes remaining – but two bogeys in the final stretch saw her come back towards the chasing pack as the day drew to a close.

“It was tough out there today,” Stark said. “At the end of the round I wanted to hit some solid shots but unfortunately I made a bogey on the last.

“It didn’t really surprise me because I’ve been having trouble with my short wedges the past couple of weeks, but overall I’m happy with the day.”

The day got off to a perfect start for the 2017 Ping Junior Solheim Cup player with a birdie on the par-four second, although that was soon negated by a dropped shot on the sixth.

Also Read: Manish Narwal, Singhraj Adana rule the roots in 50m pistol

But back-to-back birdies on seven and eight were enough to see her complete the front nine in 34 shots (-2), before another picked up shot on the tenth saw her go as low as ten-under-par.

And it looked as if the recent PGA Championship By Trelleborgs Kommun winner was going to head back to the clubhouse with double digits next to her name, only for two dropped shots on 16 and 18 to shorten her lead heading into the final day.

But despite her disappointing end to her round, Stark is soaking up the occasion as she continues to excel on home soil.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ladies European Tour (@letgolf)

“It feels good to be playing in Sweden with the crowd here. It’s good to see all the kids coming out watching and trying to inspire them is what motivates me.

“I feel calm heading into tomorrow, I feel like if I was going to mess up some day it was going to be today, because now I know I can keep my lead and I can play even though I’m really stressed and terrified of something going wrong.

Exclusive Read: Dash of history to Yuvraj Sandhu’s ascent in Hyderabad

“Seeing as I shot -1 today I feel I can do the same tomorrow or even better, so today gave me a sense of calm.”

Race to Costa del Sol leader Atthaya Thitikul is Stark’s nearest challenger heading into Sunday’s action, with the Thai star ending her round with a birdie on 18 to finish with a score of 71 (-1) to find herself three shots back with a round to play.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ladies European Tour (@letgolf)

It was a rollercoaster ride for the 18-year-old at Kristianstad Golf Club, with five birdies and four bogeys seeing her move up and down the leaderboard throughout the day, before ending on a high to edge closer to the top of the standings.

“I feel really good about my irons today, but I missed some tee shots which made it a challenging day for me today, but I’ll take a score of one under.

“I love this course so much, there’s loads of trees and the grass is green, but today was challenging with the strong winds.”

Stark’s compatriot Linn Grant is also in contention heading into the final day in her homeland, although the 22-year-old struggled with the blustery conditions on the first day of the weekend and had to ultimately settle for a score of 73 (+1) to leave her on -4 overall.

LET

Must Watch: Ground Zero with Divyanshu Bajaj