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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gwladys Nocera goes eight clear as
she sets LET 54-hole record

Gwladys Nocera of France broke the Ladies European Tour's record for the lowest 54-hole total in a 72-hole event in the Göteborg Masters at Lycke Golf Club at Gothenburg, Sweden today.
After opening with a 66 and shooting a ten-under 62 on Friday, the 33-year-old from Moulins added a 65 in fine weather today to move eight shots clear on 23-under-par 193 of her closest challenger, Spaniard Paula Marti.
The previous record of 198, 19-under-par, was set by Australia’s Karrie Webb at the 1997 Weetabix Women’s British Open at Sunningdale but Norway’s Suzann Pettersen played the first three rounds of the Deutsche Bank Ladies' Swiss Open in 22-under-par in May, before the final round was cancelled due to flooding.
Nocera is now targeting Laura Davies’ 72-hole winning total of 267, 25-under-par. The European No 2 said: “I think I kind of hit the ball better than yesterday but I dropped two shots on one and 12 and I wasn’t too happy about it. That was pretty ugly. I guess I need to be careful tomorrow to stay very offensive and keep going for the best score.”
Nocera, aiming for her ninth LET title in three seasons and her fourth of the season after wins in Scotland, the Netherlands and Norway, added: “It’s not really about the score. If you shoot 20-under and you are 10th then it’s not good enough. I am 23-under and that is good but it’s not really about the score it is about the way I play and I am happy with my game.”
In her third round Nocera had seven birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the 465yd par-5 third hole, where she hit a rescue club to 15 feet from the flag. She played the front nine in five-under 30 and came back in two-under 34.
“I’m playing well and that’s not because the course is playing easy. I am playing well and today was less windy than yesterday. Once again it’s the same for everybody. I like the greens, I like the speed and I can see the slopes pretty well,” she said.
The 2002 LET Order of Merit winner Marti, a two-time winner on the LET, shot 71 to lie eight shots back in outright second on 15-under-par. She said: “I couldn’t make anything. I’m going straight to the putting green now.”
Spain’s Marta Prieto lies in third on 13-under with England’s Felicity Johnson, who shot 10-under on the first day. Sophie Gustafson rocketed up the leader board with a superb 64 and shared fifth with fellow Swede Lena Tornevall and Denmark’s Julie Tvede on 12-under-par. Sweden’s Johanna Westerberg was a shot further back, with England’s Georgina Simpson and France’s Jade Schaeffer rounding out the top ten.
Par 216 (3 x 72) 5,573 metres (with five par-5 holes)
193 G Nocera 66 62 65.
201 P Marti 64 66 71.
203 M Prieto 66 69 68, F Johnson 67 70 71.
204 S Gustafson 69 71 64, L Tornevall 65 72 67, J Tvede 70 66 68.
205 J Westerberg 68 70 67.
206 G Simpson 70 65 71, J Schaeffer 68 66 72.
Other selected scores:
207 Lisa Hall 69 72 66, L Fairclought 67 68 72 (jt 11th).
210 S Head 71 69 70 (jt 18th).
211 L Davies 70 71 71 (jt 23rd).
212 S Walker 71 71 70 (jt 28th).
213 R Coakley 67 72 74 (jt 37th)
214 L Kenny 68 72 74 (jt 46th).