Leona faced with mountain to climb in European medal chase
Leona Maguire faces a herculean task today in her bid to secure a medal in the Czech Republic.
The 15-year-old Curtis Cup star, from Slieve Russell, goes into the final round on 213 over the Kuneticka Course, six strokes behind leader Sophia Popov, of Germany, who is one ahead of Spaniard Marta Silva and French competitor Manon Gidali.
She is in a tie for 15th place and will need to produce something special today to grab one of the top three spots and earn herself a medal.
Leona, the French U-20 champion, played steadily yesterday without the fireworks of which she is very capable -- she did not have a six on her card and posted halves of 37 and 34.
A solid finish of birdie on the 16th and pars on the final two holes ensured that Leona kept alive a glimmer of hope that she could still be in the late chase for honours.
Her twin sister Lisa did not make any progress as she returned a 72 yesterday for a level par aggregate of 216.
A bogey six on the 16th prevented her from being under par for the day but her halves of 35 and 37 were respectable.
Mary Dowling, with a total of 221 (five-over par), just made the 54-hole cut but Charlene Reid on 16 over and Victoria Bradshaw on 20 over both fell by the wayside.
Meanwhile, it was another disappointing day for the Irish contingent in the European Young Masters at the Royal Balaton Club in Hungary.
Alex Gleeson was by far the best but even with his 153, comprising rounds of 78 and 75, he was a proverbial mile off the pace, while Gavin Moynihan withdrew. In the girls, Chloe Ryan is on 163 and Jessica Carty on 167.