While neither could match the fireworks produced by India’s Aditi Ashok, a winner at St Andrews this year, both Kelsey MacDonald and Gemma Dryburgh remained on course for card successes heading into the penultimate round of the LET Qualifying School in Morocco.
On a day when 17-year-old amateur Ashok catapulted herself into second spot in the 90-hole test with a blistering 10-under-par 62 in Marrakech, MacDonald cemented fifth position with a 69, while Dryburgh is sitting joint tenth following a 72.
Back at Amelkis Golf Club, where she opened with a 67 before backing that up with a 70 at Samanah Country Club, MacDonald broke par for the third day running with a card that contained six birdies.
“The pins were tougher today so I had to stay patient,” said the 25-year-old from Nairn. “I had two bogeys in a row at the seventh and eighth, but I bounced back with a birdie at the ninth to be out in level-par before having a strong back nine.”
MacDonald’s confidence received a timely boost for this test when she produced one of her best performances of the year in the final regular event of the season, the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. “I’ve taken my game from last week to here,” admitted the former Scottish Women’s champion. “I learnt a lot from last week in terms of decision-making. I also have Gus Hay, a really good friend, caddying for me here as well and I feel his chilled attitude is what suits me and my golf.”
Bidding to make it first-time lucky in her bid to join the LET’s Scottish contingent, recent pro recruit Dryburgh mixed four birdies with four bogeys at Samanah, having shot up the leaderboard with a 66 at Amelkis on Saturday.
“I didn’t play as well today but I’m still happy enough,” said the Aberdonian, who graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a marketing degree earlier this year. “My front nine was a bit of a struggle, but I made two good birdies at the 13th and 15th and the goal is definitely to finish in the top 30 and ties to secure a full card.”
Sitting on two over after a 72, Alyson McKechin is just inside the cut line as the axe prepares to fall after today’s round four, but Michele Thomson (73) and Jane Turner (72) have three and five shots to make up to avoid an early exit.
Ashok, who underlined her potential when winning the St Rule Trophy in St Andrews this year, bagged 11 birdies in setting a new course record at Samanah as she moved within a shot of German Karolin Lampert, who held on to top spot with a 66.