Ashleigh Buhai continued her fine form at the Investec South African Women’s Open with a round of 69 (-3) to hold a four-shot lead heading into the final day.
On a sunny yet windy day at Steenberg Golf Club, the 2022 AIG Women’s Open champion began with a bogey on her first hole.
However, the South African superstar bounced back with a birdie on the second before adding three more on the fourth, fifth and 18th holes to reach a total of 18-under-par.
“I’m happy with my day,” said Buhai. “I didn’t feel very well today, there’s a gastro-bug going around and unfortunately, I came down with it last night.
“For me to hang in there mentally, I think I did a really good job. The shot on number one, I hit it where I wanted to and the wind switched and it fell out of the air. I made the swing and that’s all I can do.
“The wind was very difficult to deal with. I hit quite a few shots, even on nine I thought it was going to be stiff and the next minute it fell out of the sky. The wind was supposed to be down and switched back into.
“The thing you have to do at that moment is you’ve made the swing and done what you’ve wanted to and accept the outcome. That’s what I did well. I got up-and-down to keep myself in it. On the back nine, I hit a lot of solid shots. There was one bad swing on the par-five, but I hit some good putts that didn’t drop today as they have the last few days.”
Buhai is a four-time winner on the LET and has won this title three times previously – the last time being in 2018.
With a four-shot lead heading into the final day, the Major champion knows she will still have to play well.
She explained: “The goal was to try and come and win this week. It would be huge, to win your home open is a huge honour. I’ve been able to do it before and to be able to do it again and tick it off would be great.
“Chiara [Noja] played great today, she came at me hard in the beginning and so did Maggie [Simmermacher], I know I’m going to have to keep my foot on the gas but at the same time play my game and stay patient.”
Spain’s Ana Pelaez Trivino and Germany’s Chiara Noja sit in second place on 14-under-par after 54 holes in Cape Town.
Pelaez Trivino, who is fourth in the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol, fired the joint-best round of the day with a 66 (-6) to move up the leaderboard.
The 24-year-old rolled in back-to-back birdies on two and three before adding two more on seven and eight.
A dropped shot on the 12th…
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