Alessandra Fanali

Alessandra Fanali and Shannon Tan are tied at the top of the leaderboard with a score of nine-under-par after day three at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open.

The duo both sat in a share of third place at the halfway stage of the tournament and posted rounds of 67 (-6) to have a five-shot lead over third place at Vipingo Ridge.

Having been in the penultimate group of the day it was a bogey-free day for Fanali, who was a rookie on the LET in 2023, as she produced a round of six-under.  

The Italian rolled in birdies on the second, fourth, seventh, ninth, 14th and 18th holes to move to the top of the leaderboard.

“It was a great day,” said Fanali. “This golf course is very tough and with this wind, it’s not easy to handle it but today was fun. I had great shots, some good putts and a chip-in as well. It was everything you could have asked for. I’m pretty happy about it!

“I have been trying all week to be very calm and take it shot by shot and I think that’s what is working very well for me and being in the moment. I’m doing a lot of meditation this week. That’s why it’s going well, I think.

“Tomorrow, I think it’s just going to be the same as the last three days. I will take it shot-by-shot and I will give it a go. It would be cool to win of course, it would be my first win as a professional, but on the other side I have a chance and I’m going to try and we will see what’s going to happen.

“It was so nice playing with Shannon [Tan] today, we have the same timings such as walking on the golf course and the same shots pretty much. It was easy-going and it would be fun to play tomorrow together again.”

Tan, who is the first player from Singapore to secure a full LET card, only had one dropped shot on her scorecard in Kenya.

The 19-year-old made birdies on two and four before dropping a shot on five, but she then rolled in further birdies on holes six, eight, 10, 11 and 13 to also be at the summit of the leaderboard on nine-under-par.

“I stuck to the gameplan today, apart from hole five where I made a bogey which could have been avoided,” said Tan, who played in the 2023 Aramco Team Series presented by PIF – Singapore as an amateur.

“But pretty much everything else went to plan, just hitting fairways and greens and I gave myself chances and that was it. I wouldn’t say I’m nervous out on the golf course, I would say that I’m focussed. I feel like when I hit a shot, I’m just hitting a shot and nothing else matters.”

Tan, who attended Texas Tech, went to Lalla Aicha Q-School in December for experience but ended up finishing in the top 20 to secure her full LET card and made the decision to turn pro.

The teenager explained: “I played Q-School in December, I finished tied for eighth and got my full Tour card and I went back and spoke to my college coach about it, and she supported my decision to be on the LET. I’m really thankful.

“Now it seems great but when I was deciding there were lots of factors and considerations, I had to think about such as me leaving the team, but I also had the opportunity to be on the LET so I went with this.

“I am probably a history-maker and it’s great because all the juniors back home probably look up to me and know it’s possible, but I just try and do my own thing and try and get better every day. I’m hoping tomorrow it’s possible to win!”

Samantha Bruce of the Philippines is the next player on the leaderboard having followed up her remarkable second round of 68 (-5) with a 71 (-2) on day three.

The Seattle University graduate had five birdies and three bogeys on her scorecard to be sat in outright third place on four-under-par.

Speaking after her second round, Bruce said: “I think I’m just going to continue how I’ve felt from the beginning and just be grateful to be out here. I feel like having that mindset allows me to be a little bit more positive and relaxed about the week and just allowing myself to play the game I know I can play. Keeping that grateful attitude out there.”

Four players are in a share of fourth place with Aunchisa Utama, Chiara Tamburlini, Ayako Uehara and Nataliya Guseva all on three-under-par.

One shot further back, there are also four players with Sara Kouskova, Pranavi Urs, Alice Hewson and Ana Peláez Trivino all on two-under.

It was Kouskova though who fired the round of the week posting a seven-under 66 which included an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys.

The 2022 LETAS Order of Merit champion explained: “Everything did go right! Even my bogey on 16 was a saved bogey, so I think even that was good. I felt it during the front nine that it was a good day and the putt that dropped on nine, it was my first longer putt that had dropped this week, so I thought it was a good day.

“I just tried to keep momentum and not break it and just kept doing the same things and trusting it. I think we read the putts well today and rolled it much better than the last two days. The game was there from the beginning, but I think getting into the tournament mode more was part of it, and great support from my caddie too.”

The final round begins at 8.48 am (local time) with the leaders heading out onto the Baobab Course at 11 am (local time).

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