22 September 2017

Hall started at the 10th and birdied the 11th and 13th holes to establish a two-stroke lead at nine-under-par, in hot and sunny conditions at Real Club de Campo Guadalmina. She then birdied the 17th and had established a three-stroke lead as she moved through the turn at 10-under.

After her fourth birdie of the day at the fifth, she was briefly joined by Lee-Anne Pace on 11-under, but Pace bogeyed the last before Hall birdied the seventh in a round of 67, to end on 12-under-par.

“I hit the ball better today, I just didn’t hit it close enough to the pin with my approach shots. It’s always good to have a bogey-free round and it got a bit windy on the back nine, so I’m happy with today’s score,” Hall said.

“The pins were not much harder, so you could attack them, but I putted well again today. Aza played great today. She holed some really good putts and shot eight-under, so she’s one behind me. It was great playing with her and the weather is great, so I enjoyed it.”

The defending champion Muñoz, who last year became the first Spanish player to win the title since the first event in 1982, said that her flawless 64 was her best round on the South Course at her home club.

She had two birdies on the back nine before firing another six on the front, including five in a row from the third to the seventh and said afterwards: “I haven’t played many tournaments on the South Course, because most tournaments used to be played on the North, but I actually only remember an eight-under on the North Course, so it’s definitely my best round by far on the South. I kept being patient. I’ve been playing really, really well both days and yesterday I couldn’t make putts. I was hitting good putts but touching the edges. Today it was a combination of hitting it close and making some nice 15-footers. I’m feeling comfortable and playing well, but right now, I just want to enjoy the moment. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Pace recovered from an early double-bogey on the 12th with seven birdies and a bogey on the ninth in a 68. She said: “I played really well today and yesterday. I started really badly and had a double on three, just from nowhere. I think I was still asleep. After that, I settled down and hit quite a few shots really close. I think the back nine has some par fives that are accessible but on the front nine I said to myself, let’s get to three-under, and I did it. There are some strong players here. It’s nice that everyone comes back to support the Tour and it will be a good weekend.”

Natalia Escuriola Martinez, who was tied for the lead with Hall and Diana Luna overnight, was two-under for her first five holes but Luna signed for a one-over 73.

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