Hedwall on track to fourth title

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Caroline Hedwall has set up the tantalizing prospect of winning a 4th Ladies European Tour title in her rookie season.

Caroline Hedwall has set up the tantalizing prospect of winning a fourth Ladies European Tour title in her rookie season as a professional.

The 22-year-old Swede has taken possession of the top spot on the leaderboard heading into Sundays third and final round of the Hero Women’s Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon near New Delhi and looks to be playing a quality brand of golf that will make her difficult to stop.

As it was on Saturday, Headwall closed with three successive birdies as she charged to the top of the leader board with a 4-under-par 68 that took her 36-round total to 9-under and put her one shot clear of fellow Swede Linda Wessberg and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, the winner of this event in 2008 and 2009.

One of the stars of Europe’s Solheim Cup victory in September, Headwall believed that her putting was the key.

She had 29 on Saturday and said: “I putted really well and that kind of saved my game today. I had a strong finish. I hit it to just a foot on number 16 for birdie, holed a 12 feet putt for birdie on 17 and two-putted for birdie on 18 so I made a couple coming in, which was really nice.”

The Barsebäck native went to the turn in a one under par 35 after a solitary birdie on the par-five sixth hole.

She then birdied the par-three 11th but dropped a shot at the par five 14th, after hitting her tee shot right and saw it bounce off a cart path out of bounds.

After a quick glance at the leader board on 15, Headwall picked up the pace.

“I hit it out of bounds on the par five and hit an awful shot that came from nowhere. It’s not even a hard tee shot but I hit it out of bounds but made birdie on my second ball so I only made a bogey, which felt nice and felt like I could still get up there,” she said.

Already assured of the LET’s Rolex Rookie of the Year title, Headwall is playing for the first prize of €33,750 in India, which would give her a chance to leapfrog Melissa Reid into second position on the Henderson Money List heading to Dubai for next week’s season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Winning the Henderson Money next week would give Headwall a 10-year-tour exempition ticket, but, she said, “For now I want to catch Melissa on the official Henderson Money List, so that would be the motivation for this tournament.

“I have to do well in Dubai too, but that depends on Melissa and what she shoots. If she wins here, it will be impossible,” she said.

Headwall and Wessberg were among a handful of players who attended a training camp for the Swedish national team in Orlando, Florida, a fortnight ago, along with the overnight co-leader Pernilla Lindberg, who shot 74 on Saturday and slipped back into sixth place.

For Wessberg, a victory would be her fourth in eight years on Tour following six top-10 finishes this season.

The 31-year-old from Gothenburg needed 30 putts, which made all the difference to her opening round of 70.

I guess I took advantage of the good shots more than I did yesterday. I hit a few more fairways so I guess it was easier to attack the pins,” she said.

For the 2010 event champion, Laura Davies, any hopes of retaining her title vanished after she carded consecutive rounds of 75 to finish on a total of six over par and miss the cut by one shot.

A total of 62 players, including 60 professionals and two amateurs, survived the cut mark and will tee off in Sunday’s final round.

TOP 10 LEADERBOARD

135 – Caroline Headwall (SWE) 67 68

136 – Linda Wessberg (SWE) 70 66, Pornanong Phatlum (THA) 67 69

139 – Becky Morgan (WAL) 70 69, Vikki Laing (SCO) 69 70

140 – Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 66 74

141 – Florentyna Parker (ENG) 67 74, Lorie Kane (CAN) 70 71, Hei-Ji Kim (KOR) 71 70, Hannah Jun (USA) 69 72, Sophie Gustafson (SWE) 71 70, Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 69 72, Stacey Keating (AUS) 70 71

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