A course record 67 for Rebecca Flood has given her a three shot lead in the women’s Victorian Open on what was supposed to be her wedding day.
Following what was her career-best round today, Flood admitted she looked at the time at 3.30pm, which was the time she and caddie Geoff Artis were supposed to marry.
“We were standing on the ninth tee and Stacey (Keating) started humming ‘Here Comes The Bride’, which gave us a laugh,” Flood said. “I birdied (the ninth), hit good tee shot, knocked it on and two-putted for birdie, so I’ll take that.”
Flood and Artis pushed their big day back six weeks to February 18 so she could play the tournament. But she made up for it with a good round.
“I struck it well out there today, hit it fairly close and took the chances,” she said. “I missed a couple early, but just tried to stay patient and really just took advantage of the par-fives. It was just solid, consistent golf all day.”
Flood said that while she was nervous about the prospect of her first pro win, “It’s just a matter of going out there and playing my own game and try to relax and do what I’ve been doing. Just play golf, really. The result is the result, isn’t it?”
Sitting three shots behind is 1993 British Open winner Karen Lunn, who said her experience had helped her round.
“I think on these courses you need experience because we’re playing in a different kind of courses to what we play on all year and it’s very much target golf,” Lunn said. “When you play in Melbourne you know the greens are small so it’s not so much where to hit it, where to miss it.”
Regarding tomorrow’s final round, she said: “At the end of the day Rebecca’s still ahead of me and that’s a good lead and she’s a good player and I didn’t want anyone to get too far away.
“I’m pretty happy, I’m playing well so it’s nice to go into Sunday with a chance. All you hope at the beginning of the week is set yourself up for that.”
Lunn said she had finished in second place twice at the Victorian Open in 1991 and 1992, before adding: “I don’t want to make a habit of it.”
She said while she had had better scores since turning pro in 1985, “it’s always satisfying when you play a top golf course”.
Meanwhile, Korean Haeji Kang and French player Joanna Klatten tied for third, despite an amazing recovery from Klatten after she hit an eight on the par three 10th before finishing with an eagle, four birdies and two pars on the rest of the back nine.