Saturday, September 24, 2016

Beth Allen edges one clear of Muñoz on the 

Costa del Sol 

By Bethan Cutler, LET Media Manager
Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen birdied the 18th to edge local heroine Azahara Muñoz from Spain by one stroke heading into the final round of the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino, setting up a fascinating final round duel between two of the Ladies European Tour’s top players.
Allen made seven birdies and two bogeys in a sparkling third round of 67 to reach nine-under-par on a hot and breezy day at the gorgeous but demanding Aloha Golf Club in Marbella.
Muñoz, who led by one stroke at halfway, is in solo second after a bogey-free round of 70 but Italian Diana Luna and Englishwoman Sophie Walker are up to joint third on four-under after rounds of 69 and 71.
Last year’s ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters champion, Allen is fighting her way back to the top of the LET Order of Merit after losing her place to Shanshan Feng at last week’s Evian Championship. 
The 34-year-old from San Diego began the third round a stroke behind Muñoz but was three back after the Spaniard birdied the first hole. Allen then hit back with three straight birdies from the ninth followed by three more at 14, 15 and 18. Allen caught Muñoz after 14 holes and both players birdied 15, but Allen made a putt of around five feet on the 18th green after Muñoz left hers short of the hole.
Pamela Pretswell is the leading Scot despite a third-round 79 that dropped her to a 54-hole tally of two-over par 218. She is one ahead of Sally Watson (7) with Laura Murray, in her first outing since winning on the LETAS Tour, on 220 after a 77.
Aberdeen-born Gemma Dryburgh was another who struggled in the third round. She had a 79 for 226.

Par 216 (3x72)
207 Beth Allen (USA) 72 68 67
208 Azahara Munoz (Spain) 72 66 70
212 Diana Luna (Italy) 72 71 69, Sophie Walker (England) 70 71 71.

218 Pamela Pretswell 72 67 79
219 Sally Watson 73 73 73
220 Laura Murray 74 69 77
226 Gemma Dryburgh 72 75 79

(148 and better qualified)
155 Kylie Walker 78 77, Vikki Laing 83 72
156 Heather MacRae 79 77
Withdrew: Kelsey MacDonald 79 wd

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