Schaeffer four clear in Prague

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Jade Schaeffer of France will take a four stroke lead into the final round of the LET’s Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters.

Jade Schaeffer of France carded a stunning 8-under par 64 on Saturday and will take a big, four stroke lead into the final round of the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters on Sunday.

Schaeffer, who claimed her sole LET title in Germany in 2009, stormed to the top of a packed leader board with four birdies on the front nine and an eagle on the 12th.

She bogeyed the 13th, but picked up three shots in a row from the 16th for her career best round in her five years on the Tour.

She ended the day at 11-under, four strokes ahead of Czech rookie Klára Spilková, who held on to a share of second with a 70.

She is tied with German Caroline Masson, who shot a 69 and will have learned from her time in the spotlight earlier this summer, when she played with World No.1 and eventual champion Yani Tseng in the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

Sweden’s Linda Wessberg and England’s Kiran Matharu both shot 69 to end at six under, with seven players grouped together, a stroke further behind.

They were Cassandra Kirkland (69), Beth Allen (69), Louise Stahle (70), Becky Brewerton (70), Laura Davies (69), Anja Monke (70) and Felicity Johnson (71).

Schaeffer had wrist surgery in January, but was back on tour in May and rediscovered her putting stroke on a hot and sunny day at Albatross Golf Resort in the Czech Republic this weekend.

“I’m so happy because my putting is back. Last week I played the same game, but my putting did not rendezvous. Here it was my best putting and I put so many putts away it was incredible,” said the 25 year-old, Reunion-born resident of Paris.

“My putting is very good but my long game is very nice. I played so many shots close to the hole. I think I told myself all the putts were just normal putts, not for seven or eight under and I tried to play close to the hole. It was a great improvement.”

First-year LET professional Spilková, 16, from Prague, thrived in front of a supportive home gallery.

She carded four birdies and two bogeys, but made some impressive putts to save par.

“I hit a few birdies and bogeys. It was like yesterday. Just fairways, greens and two putts: that’s all,” said Spilková. “I like the people and the golf course. There were a lot of people so it was good today.”

Masson, meanwhile, has been on the verge of her first victory all season with seven top ten finishes from 14 events, including a tie for fifth at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last month.

“I played well, but I left a couple of putts out there. I left two like really just short and missed a couple more putts but all in all it’s another good round and I’m in a good position for tomorrow,” said the 22 year-old from Gladbeck.

Sweden’s Linda Wessberg and England’s Kiran Matharu both shot 69 to end at six under, with seven players a stroke further behind.

They were Cassandra Kirkland (69), Beth Allen (69), Louise Stahle (70), Becky Brewerton (70), Laura Davies (69), Anja Monke (70) and Felicity Johnson (71).

Hole in One

Julie Greciet of France recorded her first hole in one in an LET tournament. The 24 year-old from Bayonne struck her golf ball with a 6-iron on the third, which was her 12th hole of the day.

The fourth year professional ended with a second round of 71 to finish the day at four under with seven other players, while first-round leader Malene Jorgensen was one stroke back in a share of 21st place.

Of the 10 Czech competitors in the tournament, Spilková was the only player to make the 36-hole cut, which fell at 144, level par.

After high temperatures on Saturday, even fairer weather is expected for Sunday, with predictions for highs of 27 degrees Celsius and a gentle 8-12 mph breeze.

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