Dubai: China’s Shanshan Feng leads the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters by five strokes on 18 under par after a third day 67 at Emirates Golf Club on Friday.
And the World No 6 and LPGA Championship winner’s total of 198 has broken the previous three-round total record — Annika Sorenstam’s 15 under in 2006 — by three strokes. She now sits top of the standings and poised for her sixth win of the season across the LPGA, LET and Japanese LPGA Tours.
Friday’s was her worst round of the event so far after shooting opening rounds of 66 and 65, but the 67, with two bogeys on either nine plus three birdies on the front and four on the back including three in the last three holes, ensured she still went five under for the day to consolidate her lead.
Holland’s Dewi Claire Schreefel scored a new event record round of 63 to rise from 13th to second, five strokes behind Shanshan, while Gwladys Nocera, who was joint third after day two, now has the position to herself ahead of Cindy Lacrosse and Caroline Masson in joint fourth.
Felicity Johnson, who was second after day two, fell back to tied for seventh after hitting level par, while the first day’s joint leader, Florentyna Parker, is now tied for 12th after fighting back from yesterday’s two over round with a 69.
Shanshan said: “I must feel good about the fact I’ve broken the third round record of 15 under. I’ve done pretty well. But I’ve been lucky, over three days there’s not been too much wind.
“Tomorrow might be windy, so I’d just be thankful and happy to have another good day. It’s not normal for me to shoot so low but there’s no wind and this course is playing easy compared to previous years. All the scores are going low.
“I think I’ll stick to the same gameplan, my goal coming in was top five and that’s still the target so I’m not putting myself under any more pressure.”
Asked if she was concerned about her lead when the new course record holder Schreefel at one stage moved just two strokes behind, Shanshan said: “I have a habit not to look at the leaderboard during the tournament.
“I was kind of nervous starting off. At the beginning I wasn’t making a lot of putts and made two easy bogeys. I think maybe the players in my group [Cindy Lacrosse 69 and Felicity Johnson 72] gave me a bit of pressure when they kept making a lot of putts and getting close to the pins.
“But I think I handled this well and came back with three birdies in a row over the last three holes. That put me back in position and I’m still confident as a result.”