England’s Georgia Hall fired a three under par 69 on the Samanah golf course in Marrakech on Friday to keep her lead in the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Aicha Tour School Final Qualifying for the 2015 season.
Playing in warm and sunny conditions, the 18-year-old professional golfer from Bournemouth carded four birdies against a sole bogey for a 54-hole total of 12 under par.
Her nearest challengers on eight under are Germany’s Sophia Popov and English amateur Emma Goddard, who fired rounds of 66 and 69 respectively on the nearby Al Maaden course.
“Steady is the word, I think,” said Hall. “I didn’t do a lot wrong. I got one bogey and that was just a three putt. I’m happy with the way today went, because there were some sneaky pin positions out there. There was a little bit of wind today but I think these were the hardest pin positions of the week so far so I’m happy with my score.”
Hall’s longest birdie putt of the day was a 15 footer on the par-five 12th, while she also made an impressive putt of seven feet for birdie on the par-three third hole.
With two rounds remaining in the five day qualifier, Hall is feeling confident of maintaining her advantage and said: “I don’t know how many shots I am ahead but I want to keep it that way and improve my lead every day.”
Fellow former European PING Junior Solheim Cup player Popov reeled off five birdies on the front nine at Al Maaden before three putting the 10th but recovered with birdies on holes 13 and 15.
She said: “I’m extremely pleased. I played pretty consistently and hit a lot of greens. I only had one three putt on 10, which was frustrating but there was potential to go even lower which is the sign of a great round. I made some stupid mistakes the last two days but overall I played safer and made more putts overall.”
Sharing second on eight under, Goddard had five birdies and two bogeys to stay in the mix.
South African Monique Smit is a shot back in seventh place after a third round 68 on the Samanah course, while Moroccan star Maha Haddioui is tied for eighth on four under with Finland’s Marike Voss.
Spanish duo Carmen Alonso and Virginia Espejo are tied for 10th place on three under par, while one over par is currently tied for 27th place, to the leading 30 players and ties who will earn LET membership in category 8a.
The projected cut to the leading 60 players and ties was five over par with a round to go before the cut following Saturday’s play.