Magical Kenya Ladies Open: Ashok opens six shots lead heading to final round
Two rounds leader Aditi Ashok maintained her lead after firing four under par 69 going into Sunday’s final round of the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open at the par 73 Baobab Course Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi County.
The leading Indian professional Ashok played a very conservative game, protecting her lead with bogey-free rounds that included birdies on the fifth, sixth and eighth and one more birdie at the 11th.
From there she parred the rest of the holes, to increase her lead to six shots, closing the day with an impressive 13 under par 206 and with a great chance of taking home the top prize of 45,000 Euros.
On the other hand, the hot-charging April Angurasaranee dropped a shot at the sixth, but recovered it quickly at the seventh, and went on to eagle the 11th and 15th though with a bogey in between (14th).
For her to win she will have to fire a low round in the fourth and final round, and hope that Ashok will totally collapse on Sunday, which looks impossible given how she has been playing this week, and having surrendered her lead at the last hole during her first visit to Vipingo in 2019.
The two players, who are likely to be joined by England’s Cara Gainer in the final round, could attract a big following from the spectators who braved the hot sun to follow the leading players from start to finish.
Gainer, birdied the seventh and eighth, eagled the 11th, but bogeyed the 13th in addition to an earlier bogey at the fifth.
On the other hand, defending champion Esther Henseleit made her first move to try and catch up with the leaders but a double bogey six at the par four-18th saw her closing with a level par 73 and a three rounds total of one under par 218.
She had picked up a two at the par three-17th, after making a birdie at the 11th, and the first and six on the front nine where she dropped a shot at the fourth.
Meanwhile the remaining Kenyan in the tournament Naomi Wafula shot 78 after picking up a seven at the par four-third hole and double at the 11th though closed the day with a birdie at the 18th hole, her fourth in the round, to tie for 55th place.
The leader board at the close of third round;
Aditi Ashok (Ind) 67, 70, 69= 206
April Angurasaranee (Tha) 71, 71, 70=212
Cara Gainer (Eng) 74, 70, 71= 215
Gabriela Ruffels (Aus) 74, 71, 71= 216
Alice Hewson (Eng) 71, 73, 73= 217
Gurleen Kaur (USA) 74, 73, 71= 218
Esther Henseleit (Ger) 77, 68, 73= 218
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