Chiara Noja (Ger) shot a third round of three under par 69 to be four back of the leader on 14 under par in the €320,000 Investec South African Women’s Open at Steenberg Golf Club to go into the final round tomorrow (Saturday) on the Ladies European Tour.
Chiara, currently 108th in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, started the round four back of Ashleigh Buhai (RSA).
A brilliant front nine of 31, with five birdies and no bogeys saw Chiara move within one shot of Buhai after nine holes, both playing in the final threeball of the day.
Another birdie on hole 12 saw a tie at the top of the leaderboard.
Chiara then went bogey – par – bogey – par – bogey from the 13th tee to drop three shots in just five holes.
A par five on the last against a birdie from Buhai, saw Chiara sign for a three under par round and once again, as they started, four back of the leader.
Buhai, winner of the 2022 AIG Women’s Open and number 18 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, has won this South African Women’s Open title three times, previously in 2004, 2007 and 2018, had nines of 34 and 35.
Chiara’s first three rounds have been 62, 71 and 69: including 19 birdies and an eagle and all is set for a dramatic last day, especially for the 16 year-old, who won the individual event in the 2022 ARAMCO Team Series – Jeddah at the end of the year.
In tied second place, alongside Chiara is Ana Pelaez Trivino (Spain), who shot a best of the day 66 which included an impressive finish with three birdies in the final four holes.
The final round tomorrow (Saturday) sees the threeball of Chiara, Buhai and Trivino tee off at 10.05 am from tee one in the final group of the day.
Third Round Leaders (6238 Yards, Par 72)
1 - A. Buhai (RSA) 64, 65, 69 = 198 (-18)
2 - C. Noja (Ger) 62, 71, 69 = 202 (-14)
- A. P. Trivino (Spain) 69, 67, 66 = 202 (-14)