France’s No.1 amateur Pauline Roussin-Bouchard is one stroke clear of the field heading into the final round of the Jabra Ladies Open in her attempt to win the dual ranking Ladies European Tour and LET Access Series event and qualify for the Evian Championship.
The 18-year-old from Toulon shot a second round of two-under-par 69 in warm and benign conditions at Evian Resort Golf Club on Friday for a 36-hole total of five-under-par ahead of England’s Annabel Dimmock, with Germany’s Olivia Cowan two strokes further behind in third place.
Roussin-Bouchard, who is a member at the Evian Resort Golf Club, began at the 15th hole and bogeyed the 17th but quickly recovered with a birdie on the par-5 18th. She carded another bogey on the fifth, but had three further birdies on the fourth, seventh and ninth holes, ending with a satisfying par on her last hole, the par-3 14th, where she hit a perfect flop shot from behind the green.
She said afterwards: “It was great. I actually didn’t play as well as yesterday because I missed a few shots over the first 12 holes, but I managed to putt well and had lots of up and downs. The greens were a bit faster so when you had a downhill putt, it was very fast and you needed to manage it, but it was a bit like yesterday, so good.”
Roussin-Bouchard was thrilled that her parents had surprised her by asking her brother, Hugo, a 2-handicapper who is four years her senior, to come and caddie for the final round.
Should she win the dual-ranking event, she would become the first amateur to win on the LET since Atthaya Thitikul in the 2017 Thailand Championship aged 14, although 17-year-old Swiss amateur Elena Moosmann won the VP Bank Ladies Open on the LET Access Series three weeks ago.
Dimmock, whose best finish in three years on tour was third in the 2017 Lalla Meryem Cup, is also looking for a breakthrough victory and was pleased with a second consecutive round of two-under-par 69.
The 22-year-old from Buckinghamshire said: “It was pretty steady. I had a blip on 14 and made a double but I didn’t lose my head. I just kept in there and bounced back with a birdie on 16 and then 18, the two par fives.
“It’s really challenging if you don’t hit it in the fairways. My goal going out tomorrow is to keep hitting the fairways because into these greens, you’re hitting some long clubs and from the rough you can’t control it. It’s challenging but I like it and I think playing it slightly longer is good.”
England’s Hannah Burke and Emma Grechi from France are tied for fourth on one-under-par, with Gabriella Cowley, Meghan MacLaren, Filippa Moork and Kylie Henry tied for sixth.
Following Saturday’s third and final round, the leading two players not otherwise exempt will qualify for the Evian Championship, which is the only major in continental Europe and takes place in July.
The shot of the day belonged to Swiss professional Clara Pietri, 24, from Geneva, who made a hole-in-one at the 212 yard par-3 14th hole, using a 5-wood.
It was the third hole-in-one in the first two days of the tournament, following Florentyna Parker at the eighth and Sarah Nilsson at the 16th in the first round.