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Blomroos Cuts Salonen’s Konopiště Cushion In Half

Henna Blomroos finished hot to close the gap at the Konopiste Open. Photo: Eino Ansio

The battle of young Finnish stars continued on day three of the Konopiště Open, with the country’s top-rated women’s player taking her turn for the hot round.

Henna Blomroos tossed a 3-under par 64 at the Franz Ferdinand course Saturday, a performance that took her 54-hole total in the Czech Republic to a 3-over par 204. The 977-rated effort cut Eveliina Salonen’s lead in half, as the reigning European Champion came back to earth with a 3-over par 70 to take her total score back to even. Catrina Allen bounced back from her second round slump with a 1-over par 68 that kept her in third place with an 8-over par 209, while Kristin Tattar solidified her hold on fourth place at 14-over. Anna-Sofia Haipus, Hannele Määttä, and Natalie Holloköi finished the round in a fifth-place stalemate at 22-over par.

The 18-year-old Blomroos again got off to a strong start, hitting the green for birdie on the 122-meter 1st for the second straight round. While she followed that with consecutive bogeys, she put a stop to the big numbers and carded four pars in a row before closing the front nine with another bogey.

It was Blomroos’ back half, though, that helped her close the gap on Salonen. She hit the green in regulation on holes 10 and 11 to log consecutive birdies, then added another with a connection from outside the circle on the par-4 14th. She finished the round with a flourish, hitting the bullseye with her second shot on the 302-meter 16th and parking her tee shot on the 136-meter 18th to go five for nine.

Salonen, who made her money Friday with accuracy off the tee, couldn’t get much going on Saturday. Her green hits dropped from 44 percent the prior day to 22, and that translated to half the number of birdies. She also struggled on the green late, two-putting on hole 18 to card a double-bogey 5. Salonen was only one of two players in the field to go two strokes over par on the finishing hole.

Though Allen improved from her disastrous round two showing, she was only able to claw two shots back from Salonen’s lead. She again started the day by going out-of-bounds on hole 1, but finished strong, carding the field’s only birdie on the par-4 15th and connecting for the deuce on 18.

Only eight women made the cut for Sunday’s final round, and that left defending champion Vanessa Van Dyken on the outside looking in. She struggled en route to a 10-over par 77 Saturday to drop from sixth place into ninth. Her 25-over par 226 was only two shots beyond the cut line.

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