Singapore’s Shannon Tan and Italy’s Alessandra Fanali posted 6-under par, 67 to go joint top on the second day of the in progress Kenya Ladies Open Golf Championship at Vipingo Ridge,Kilifi County.
The duo share the lead with total sores of 9-under par, 210 heading into the final round on Sunday.
The two who played in the same flight exchanged leads through the round, with Shannon holding a one-stroke lead through 17 holes, with Alessandra finally catching up with her at the par-4 eighteenth where she holed a birdie for a share of the lead after Shannon held par at the same hole.
Shannon started off her round steadily, with two birdies through the first four holes, before dropping her first shot at the par-4 fifth. She went on to hole two more birdies on the front nine to card a score of 34.
Tan was perfect at the back nine, with back-to-back birdies at the tenth and eleventh, another at the par-4 thirteenth, she held par through the rest of the holes, to card a round of 6-under par.
Reflecting on her round, Shannon Tan said:
“I stuck to the game plan except at hole five where I bogeyed. That could have been avoided. Everything else went to plan as I just hit fairways and greens and gave myself chances and that was it.”
On her part, Alessandra returned a spotless scorecard, featuring six birdies, four in the front nine and two at the back nine.
Speaking after the round, Alessandra said:
“It was a great day, I mean, this golf course is very tough, and with the wind, it is not easy to handle it. Today was fun, I had great shots – some good putts, a chip-in as well so, everything you could have asked for so, I am pretty happy about it.
“I have been trying all week to be very calm and take it shot-by-shot, and that’s, I think, what is working very well for me – by being in the moment. I am doing a lot of meditation this week; I think that’s why it’s going on like this.
Talking about her approach going into the final round on Sunday, she said:
“Honesty, I think it’s going to be the same thing I have done these last three days; just shot-by-shot and I will give it a go. It would be cool to win as it would be my first win as a professional.”
The two hold a five-stroke lead over third-placed Samantha Bruce of the Philippines, who is on 4-under par, 215. Samantha is ahead of a four-way tie for fourth place Thailand’s Aunchisa Utama, Switzerland’s Chiara Tamburlini, Japan’s Ayako Uehara, and Nataliya Guseva who are on 3-under par, 216.
The lowest score of the day was posted by 24-year-old Sara Kouskova from the Czech Republic who carded a round of 66 – the lowest score of the tournament so far – to take her total for the tournament to 2-under par 217. Her scorecard featured seven birdies, an eagle-three at the seventh, with the only dropped shots coming at the fourth and the 16th holes.
The tournament culminates tomorrow and with seven strokes separating the top 8 placed players its expected to be athrilling finale.
Shannon and Alessandra are favourites for this year’s title which comes with a prize purse of Ksh. 7.9 million (€45,000).
The winner also gets a total of 500 order of merit points on the Ladies European Tour (LET).