Kelsey MacDonald slipped from two behind overnight to six shots off the pace heading into the final round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, which is set for a thrilling finish after a former world No 1, two Solheim Cup players and a major winner all closed in on Dutch leader Anne Van Dam.
MacDonald, who opened with a brace of 68s, moved to nine under par by picking up a birdie at the par-5 third but dropped shots at the fifth and 11th before running up a double-bogey 6 at the 14th. She repaired some of that damage with a birdie-2 at the 15th for the second day running, signing for a 74 to drop from sole second to joint 16th on six under. Alongside her is Michele Thomson, who is on course to finish the season as top Scot on the LET after signing for a 72.
Pamela Pretswell Asher ran up a double-bogey 6 at the 17th, a short par-4, before bouncing back with a closing birdie for a 73 to sit-joint 28th on three-under, two ahead of Kylie Henry (71) amd three in front of both Vikki Laing (71) and Gemma Dryburgh (74).
Overnight leader Van Dam retained top spot after moving to 12 under with a 70 but the 22 year old has Angel Yin, a member of the winning US team in this year’s Solheim Cup, just two shots back after she stormed into contention with a 65. Swede Pernilla Lindberg (66) is also on 10 under, with England’s Charley Hull a shot further back along with India’s Aditi Ashok. Korea’s I-K Kim, the Women’s British Open champion, and Laura Davies are also in the mix on eight-under. Davies is chasing her first regular Tour triumph in seven years but declared: “As unrealistic as people probably think it is, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could win.”
On the European Tour, Finn Tapio Pulkkanen carded a bogey-free 64 for a 14-under-par total to take a one-shot lead before bad weather forced the second round to be suspended in the Joburg Open.
Robert MacIntyre, on his debut on the circuit, was the sole Scot on course to make the cut out of eight starters after the 21-year-old left-hander from Oban made six birdies in a 67 to sit on four-under.
Elsewhere, Australian Peter Fowler opened with a seven-under-par 65 to lead by a shot from England’s Barry Lane, Mark McNulty of Ireland and Thai Thaworn Wiratchant in the MCB Tour Championship on the European Senior Tour in Mauritius.