English duo Frankie Dezis and Rosie Bee Kim share the lead going into the final round of The R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at Enville.
Dezis, who held top spot on day one with Roisin Scanlon and Katie Poots, stayed on course for the biggest success of her young career after signing for a one-over-par 73 and a two-round total of one-over.
Kim is also on the same mark after a superb day two score of one-under-par 71. The pair lead by a stroke from two further English players, Scanlon and Maggie Whitehead, with Sweden’s Tova Hatton and Welshwoman Harriet Lockley a shot further back on three-over-par.
With 15 players within five shots of the leading pair, the stage is set for an exciting final round to the 54-hole stroke play championship at the Midlands venue.
Short game joy
Dezis maintained her form thanks to superb short game play, including a chip in for birdie at the 4th and a further birdie at the short 5th after a 40 feet putt from the back of the green.
The 16-year-old dropped four shots in four holes from the 9th but responded with birdies at the 13th and 18th as the Farrington Park player continued to thrive on the testing Highgate Course.
“I’m very pleased,” she said. “It was a bit of a battle on the back nine, but I scrambled well and managed to maintain my score. The putts definitely dropped on the front nine. I managed to get the pace and line and they just kept going in.
“I’m really excited for tomorrow. I’m just going to go out there to try and play steady and what will be will be. It would by far be my best achievement if I win. I’ve not actually been in the mix a lot so to prove to myself I can do it is really good.”
Kim, the Great Britain and Ireland Junior Vagliano Trophy player, has continued her liking for the championship as the 14-year-old carded two birdies and just one bogey.
Aged 10, she was the youngest competitor in the field for the inaugural staging at Fulford in 2018 and is now chasing more success over the heathland layout at Enville.
The Buckinghamshire player said, “I’m pleased with today. It was similar to yesterday but a few more putts fell in. I like the course, I think it kind of suits my style, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow as I’m in a good position.
“It’s my third time in the championship, I first played it in 2018 when I was 10 and I won the Under-12s section. I did so again in 2019. It’s now nice to be competing for the main title here and it’s a good opportunity to play in this championship.”
Close House’s Whitehead, another Junior Vagliano Trophy player earlier this month, has enjoyed a fine season and made a superb up-and-down for a birdie at the par-5 18th to move to within one of the lead.
Scanlon, from Woburn, is also well-placed and was supported by her parents and her pet dog, Layla, as she birdied the 1st before dropping three shots to fall into a tie for third.
“Layla is my good luck charm for the week,” she said. “It’s nice to have the family support. It wasn’t as good from me as yesterday, but I battled on. I didn’t hole as many putts and struggled to get the pace of the greens. I’m still within touch at the top.”
The 72-player field will conclude the championship tomorrow, with Curtis Cup player Hannah Darling and Italy’s Francesca Fiorellini the previous two winners in 2018 and 2019 respectively.