Sport

Recari maintains focus in bid to reel in tearaway leaders

Beatriz Recari's peers don't call her ''Ironwoman'' for no reason.

The 25-year-old has her work cut out chasing down Jiyai Shin and Lydia Ko at the Australian Open, but hard work doesn't faze the Spaniard.

Beatriz Recari during the third round of the Women's Australian Open.
Beatriz Recari during the third round of the Women's Australian Open. Photo: Colleen Petch

World No.58 Recari (-11) carded a two-under-par 71 on Saturday at Royal Canberra, and looms as the only possible challenger to joint leaders Ko and Shin on Sunday.

One thing is for certain, Recari will give the challenge a real crack.

The Spaniard was the only player to play in all 27 LPGA Tour events last year, and didn't miss a single cut.

Former world No.1s Karrie Webb (20 events) and Shin (18) were the only other two players that didn't miss a cut last year.

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Rarified company indeed, and Recari refuses to concede Sunday is effectively a Shin-Ko match-play event for the title.

"Why not? As I said, my game is getting better,'' said Recari, who finished tied 10th at last year's Australian Open.

"Right now they're six shots in front, but nothing's impossible and I'm definitely going to go for it.

"Today, I played aggressive and tomorrow I can only do my best, I have no control of how well they play.''

Beatriz could be much closer had she enjoyed more luck on the greens. Solid from the tee and on the fairways, she created a multitude of chances but was left frustrated when putts lipped out on holes eight and 18.

"I holed a bunker shot on two [for birdie] and a good long putt on five [for birdie],'' Recari said.

"But overall I played very well, I gave myself some chances and had so many [makeable] putts out there, but I'm pretty happy.

While impressed by Ko's on-course maturity, Recari says the 15-year-old's tender age doesn't intimidate her.

"She's obviously a very talented golfer and she seems like she has a very good mental game,'' Recari said.

"I just see her as a competitor, I don't look at what age right now, there are so many good youngsters.

"You can't be emotionally attached to whether they're older or younger, just beat them.''