Manon de Roey Photo credit: Caroline Mattise
Belgium’s Manon de Roey took the overall lead at the Santander Golf Tour LETAS Valencia after a second round of 71, one-under-par, on the Club de Golf Escorpion course. On a day where scoring was tough in the blustery winds of southern Spain, the Belgian played sensible golf which was enough to claim the outright lead heading into the final round tomorrow.
“I hit a lot of fairways today, and greens. I didn’t make as many putts as yesterday but it was very steady overall and when I missed a green I got up and down. I think you need to hit fairways because the rough is pretty hectic and you need to take advantage of the par-5s because they’re reachable.”
De Roey was the top female finisher in the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open a fortnight ago, finishing third in the mixed event with some exceptional golf played alongside male counterparts from the Alps Tour. Currently lying ninth on the Road to La Largue standings, De Roey has carried her fine form into this week and looks poised to add to her impressive points total in the LET Access Series so far this season.
“I feel confident about my game. I’m hitting the ball pretty good and my tee shots are pretty good so I’m ready for tomorrow."
In a tie for second on -4, Spain’s Carmen Alonso is joined by England’s Georgia Price who was the day’s big mover with a -3 round of 69 the joint low score on a tricky day in Valencia. Price, who began the day in eleventh recorded three birdies on the front nine and kept a clean card throughout the eighteen holes with precise golf in the winds a key element to her play
“I hit 18 greens in regulation today. That’s something I don’t think I’ve ever done! It’s always been my weakness, hitting greens, so I was really happy with that. And my putting has been solid for a while so I knew that if I was on the green I’d be able to get down in two at worst.
The course is really nice. It’s one of those that’s really ‘scoreable’ if you’re hitting it well but it can really punish you as well if you’re not in the right places. And the greens are quick, and just amazing, I love them. But, if you’ve got longer putts it is difficult to get the speed right. I think it’s a really great golf course.”
Price will be looking to maintain her form heading into the final round at Escorpion following a tough spell on the Tour that has seen her miss the last three cuts. Earlier in the season the Englishwoman was in contention on the final day at the VP Bank Ladies Open and will be looking to draw on that experience to secure a first victory on the LET Access Series.
“I’ve been in contention once this year and I think I handled it OK but I think I got a bit uptight and especially towards the end of the round I just want to try and stay relaxed and keep hitting the greens. If I can do that I’ll be happy – just keep my mind as clear as possible.”
Experienced Spaniard Carmen Alonso completes the leading trio, having posted a level-par round of 72 on the second day of her home-country event.
“Today I kept calm all the time because it was really windy out there and I only made one birdie and one bogey. I hit so many shots close to the green but I couldn’t make birdies but it was a really good round. Let’s see tomorrow!”
Alonso finished runner-up on the same course in 2012, having lost a play-off to England’s Holly Clyburn. The 35-year-old will be hoping to draw on all her experience and claim a LET Access Series title for the second year in succession.
“Last time I played here was in 2012 and I lost the play-off. But I don’t think about it. I just try shot by shot and fight until the end like I always do. I need to keep going in my process. If I play with Manon then enjoy playing with her, and I’ll fight like I always do.”
The final round on Friday will see the top 51 players battling for victory, after the cut was made at +5. Day one leader Charlotte Leathem remains in the hunt on -3 and Spain’s Laura Gomez Ruiz is also firmly in the mix on -2 as she bids to record a fourth consecutive top-10 finish on the 2019 LET Access Series.
The leaders are expected to tee-off at 10.28am with a gripping final day’s play expected at the Club de Golf Escorpion.