• Whitney Hillier one back in Italy

Whitney Hillier
WA’s Whitney Hillier is a great position to capture her first LET title in the Ladies Italian Open.

Hillier is just one stroke from English duo of Holly Clyburn and Rebecca Hudson heading into the final round of the Ladies Italian Open presented by Ruco Line being played at the Perugia Golf Club.

The talented WA player, who started the second round with a slender one stroke lead, carded a three-over-par, 75 which included five bogeys and two birdies to remain right in the mix.

Clyburn and Hudson are locked in a share of the lead at four-under-par going into Sunday. The Lincolnshire and Yorkshire stars fired rounds of 71 and 73 respectively on a scorching second day. They hold a narrow one stroke lead over Hillier, Italian and local favourite Diana Luna and another English player Florentyna Parker.

Clyburn is contending for her second win in as many seasons on the LET. The 23-year-old from Cleethorpes started her second round with a pair of bogeys and was two over on the front nine but fired three birdies in her last six holes. She said: “I didn’t start great, I had two three-putts in the first two holes and I thought, it’s going to be one of those days, but I dug deep and got it going on the back nine. I stuck it close which was nice so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Hudson, a four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, had two bogeys against one birdie and is in the hunt for her first win since 2008. She commented: “I didn’t have the ball under control as much as I wanted but just kept grinding today and there were a couple of good scores. I’ve a lot of respect for this golf course and I might not have shot under but I’m still there and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Hillier, who is trying to win for the first time on the LET, said after her round, “It wasn’t too bad today. I was a bit tentative on the front nine. I was kind of just playing for pars rather than firing up and getting birdies and in the last couple of holes I just let it go and it’s okay, it’s no problem.”

Italians Veronica Zorzi and Sophie Sandolo, Ann-Kathrin Lindner of Germany and Frenchwoman Caroline Afonso, are just two shots back and right in the tournament, while South African Stacy Lee Bregman occupies solo tenth place on one-under-par.

Queensland’s Bree Arthur cannot be discounted as well. She is at even par after a 71 and is tied for 11th.

The cut was made at six-over-par and unfortunately no other Aussie made it through. New Zealand’s Cathryn Bristow made it to Sunday finishing her opening two rounds right on the cut number of six-over and is tied for 60th.

Unfortunately Maggie Yuan, Alison Whitaker, Adriana Brent and Nikki Garrett all finished well back.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for similar temperatures with highs of 29C but a stronger breeze with the chance of a shower or thunderstorm by the later afternoon or evening.

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