Ladies European Tour
Mar 20th, 2022
Hall out front at Saudi Ladies International
Former Open champion takes a 5 shot lead into Sunday
Photography: Tristan Jones/LET
The 2018 Women’s Open winner, who has shared the lead on the first two days at Royal Greens, rolled in four birdies and one bogey on her front nine.
Hall added another birdie at the 11th to seal a round of 68 (-4) and gives herself a five-shot lead heading into the final day.
“It was probably the best long game performance I've had so far. I was pretty steady out there,” said the two-time Solheim Cup winner.
“Not a lot went wrong. I could have holed a few more putts, but it was a decent day. I hope to do the same thing tomorrow. To just go out there and hit one shot at a time, enjoy it and see what happens.”
Three-time Major winner Anna Nordqvist made her move in the field on Saturday signing for a round of 69 (-3) to move to a total of five-under-par.
The Swede made one birdie on the front nine and dropped a shot on the 11th, but she bounced back with three birdies in her final six holes to be in second place with one round left.
“I hit the ball really, really well on the front nine. I hit good putts, but they didn’t drop so it was a little frustration to turn at one-under,” said Nordqvist.
“I have found this week really challenging, I don’t think there’s one easy shot out there. It was a battle on the back nine. I had a great up-and-down on 14, birdied 16 and got a lucky break on 18 – it was a pure bonus that I made the putt off the green.
“There’s a lot of good players up there. Georgia is obviously in a great position and she’s going to be a tough player to beat in conditions like this. I’m going to put my best foot forward and try to finish the best I can.”
Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson carded the round of the day with a 67 (-5) which included six birdies and one bogey to climb up the leaderboard and be in a share of third place on four-under-par.
“It was more solid today. I struggled with my driving this week, but I spoke with my coach on the phone yesterday and worked some things out which did help,” said Gustavsson, who is eighth in the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol.
“I was driving good, good off the tee and then hit a lot of greens and holed some putts. It was the nicest conditions we have played in so far.
“I’m trying to get back into the game because it’s so early in the season. Back in Sweden, I have been indoors for a lot of weeks now and I’m just getting out on grass again and trying to get into it because I have a lot of weeks coming up.”
Gustavsson sits alongside Czech rookie Kristyna Napoleaova, who shared the lead overnight, after she produced a round of 74 (+2) to also be four-over-par.
“I found it really great, and I would do it all over again if I could. I'm actually looking forward for tomorrow, and we'll see how it's going to go,” said Napoleaova.
“It was definitely like a new experience which I've never really had before. I really enjoyed it. I just wish some shots had been better. It wasn't like yesterday, I didn't feel like I'm in my own bubble, but that's fine, I feel like something new and it's part of the game.
“I will try not to expect anything and just let it go and see what will come and just enjoy the final day here in Saudi. It's been great so far, so I just want to make this memorable.”
Australia’s Steph Kyriacou and Dutch star Anne Van Dam are tied for fifth place and sit one shot further back on three-under-par.
Four players share seventh place with Germany’s Chiara Noja, South Africa’s Nicole Garcia, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and England’s Cloe Frankish all on two-under-par.
Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen, who won the inaugural tournament in 2020, sits just outside the top ten in 11th place on level par.