Caroline Afonso of France takes a three shot lead into the final round of the La Nivelle Ladies Open, after a tough and windy second day at Golf de la Nivelle, near Biarritz in France.
The 25-year-old from the nearby town of Anglet added a round of three under par 67 to her opening 69 to lead on four under par with England’s Rachel Bell in second on one under after rounds of 67 and 72. Julie Greciet of France (72) and Norwegian Caroline Martens Larsen (70) were a stroke back in a share of third.
Afonso, who is in her third season on the Ladies European Tour, won the Terre Blanche Ladies Open at the end of March and tied for third at the Dinard Ladies Open. She is well placed to win the GENERALI Ladies Tour’s Order of Merit on Friday as she currently leads the ranking with compatriot Jade Schaeffer, who won the Dinard Ladies Open but is not playing at this event.
Lucie André is the only player that can beat Afonso in the GENERALI Ladies Tour Order of Merit. However, after sharing the first round lead with Bell, she slipped into a tie for fifth position after a 74 on Thursday to finish alongside Spain’s Marina Arruti on one over par and was five shots behind the leader after a windy day in south-western France.
This is the last of three tournaments on the 2010 GENERALI Ladies Tour, which is part of the newly formed LET Access Series, so there are a number of prizes available in addition to the €25,000 purse. The GENERALI Ladies Tour will distribute bonuses of €1500, €1000 and €500 to the top three players respectively, although as an amateur Lucie André cannot claim a financial bonus.
For the professional players, the winner of the Order of Merit and the top two will compete in the French Open de France Feminin, on the Ladies European Tour, however at present the top two players on the ranking are already qualified and the regulation does not provide for players lower down the ranking.
The best amateur player in the ranking (Lucie André) and the two best French amateurs will also receive an invitation to play in the Open de France Feminin. The best amateur will also receive the Catherine Lacoste Challenge trophy.
The top French rookie will receive a €1500 prize and the Trophy Saubaber Monique, named in memory of the first female golf teacher in France, who died in January 2008.
The winner of the La Nivelle Ladies Open will also be invited to play at the €200,000 Ladies Open of Portugal, which will be played at Campo Real Golf in Turcifal, 30 minutes north of Lisbon, from 25-27 June.