Ireland’s Alison Taylor stayed at the top of the leaderboard but had her advantage cut by half after adding a 75 to her opening 70 at the R&A Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Royal St David’s.
On another day of glorious weather, Taylor, four shots ahead overnight, will go into the final round on five under par, two strokes ahead of American Lara Tennant and three clear of Canadian Judith Kyrinis.
Tennant and Kyrinis both made headway with matching rounds of 73 - the joint best of the day. Tennant, a two-time US Senior Women’s Champion, had five birdies, while Kyrinis managed four, including a rare one at the tricky, par three 18th.
Taylor was impressively steady. Two bogeys in the first ten holes were erased by birdie birdies at the 13th and 15th and she admitted she was almost relieved to finish the round in level par.
“I’m delighted with the score,” said the Malahide member, who celebrated her 51st birthday earlier in the week and is playing in the Championship for a first time. “It was going out with the level of expectation today that made it tough. Tomorrow I think I’ll feel better.”
Tennant, another first timer, was pleased to have cut the lead - and was just as pleased with the conditions. “It was another beautiful day and hopefully will be the same tomorrow,” she said.
Kyrinis is also making her debut, but she has a fine pedigree as a senior. She won the 2017 US Seniors’ Championship and is the reigning Canadian Senior Champion - a title she first won in 2016. From Toronto, she said, “I’ve been wanting to come over here for a couple of years and this time it just fitted in fine. I couldn’t have asked for better weather.”
Still not out of it are a trio of players on one over par. Catherine Rawthore, the runner-up from Crail last year, had a 73, Belgium’s Sylvie Van Molle posted a 76 and Wales’ Jane Rees had a 77 to form a cluster on 151.
Rees, a prolific winner in Wales, had a disappointing bogey at the 18th, but she pushed it to one side. “I didn’t play well overall, so really pleased with the score,” she said.
Rawthore, the 2014 winner, also dropped a shot at the last, but still managed to look on the bright side. “I had a double in the first round, so at least it was one better,” she said with a smile.
Ireland’s Laura Webb, the defending champion, had a 78 to post alongside her opening 77, and was just inside the top ten. The cut fell on 11 over par and 43 players made it through to the final 18 holes.