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Strom inches closer to Kenya Ladies Open win

Sweden’s Julia Engström in action on the second round of the 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo Ridge on December 7, 2019

VIPINGO RIDGE, Dec 7 –  Sweden’s Julia Engström posted a steady round of 70 on the third day of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open to take her total for the tourney to 13-under 203, opening up a seven-shot lead going into the final round.

On the front nine, she holed birdies at the par-4 first, par-5 second and the par-5 sixth before finding the water at the eighth to hole a double bogey.

However, she holed a birdie par-4 ninth to card a front nine total of 34. On the back nine, she holed birdies at the par-5 11th and the par-5 15th before ending the round with consecutive bogeys at the 18th and 19th holes to card a back nine total of 36.

Speaking after her round, she said her ball-striking has been the key to her good performance at the tournament.

“I have barely made any mistakes on my ball-striking. I just got close to the green and the pin as well. I managed to make some birdies well which is good since it is quite tough out there so have really relied on my ball-striking this week.”

Talking about the double-bogey at the eighth hole, she said:

“I just hit a bad short, I pulled it a bit. I did the same on the 18th. It took the slope and bounced on to the water. Bad chip, bad putt, got a double. That’s it. Other than that, I am quite happy with my performance.”

Asked whether she is now entertaining the thought of this being her first Tour win, she said: “I hope so. You never know. The girls are good and you never know what could happen. It’s golf. I am quite happy with my seven-shot lead and I will just go out there and try to win it.”

Meanwhile, the quartet of Austria’s Christine Wolf, India’s Aditi Ashok, France’s Astrid Vayson De Pradenne and Esther Henseleit from Germany, ended the round with 6-under par 210 scores to have a share of the second going into the last round.

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Wolf shot the lowered round in the group, returning a score of 66 and matching the course record that was set by Julia on Friday. Aditi and Astrid both posted outstanding rounds of 67 while Esther shot a round of 71.

Speaking after the round, Henseleit said: “I was three-under through nine and even had some more chances, so I played really well. I just missed a few short putts and played a bogey on ten because I hit it into the woods on the right. I just couldn’t get the putts in.”

Meanwhile, Cheyenne Woods from the USA dropped down the leaderboard to settle for a share of seventh place – with Scotland’s Kylie Henry, Finland’s Ursula Wikström and Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald – after she posted a round of 74 to take her total for the tournament to 2-under par 214.

Among the remaining African players in the field, Georgia Oboh from Nigeria posted the lowest score of the round -a 2-under par 69 to take her total for the event to 4-over par 220.

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