There is an interesting battle brewing on the women’s side of the draw at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational between leader Emma Talley and her boyfriend Patrick, who caddies for second-placed Jennifer Kupcho.
Talley stormed into a three-shot lead going into the weekend after a seven-under 63 at Massereene on day two — the best round of anybody at the second course — to reach 13-under at the halfway stage, with overnight leaders Kupcho and Korea’s Chella Choi both at 10-under.
With the third round being played in three-balls, that means Talley will be paired with Kupcho and Patrick this afternoon, and the Nashville woman is eager to get one over on her other half by beating him to the title.
“I love it. It’s fun,” grinned the 27-year-old.
“Patrick, he’s not like me. I’m a bit more wild. I like to try to embarrass him and stuff, so he’ll be pretty serious out there, but I know I’ll probably get a couple thumbs up and I’ll try to bug him a little bit when he’s not working.
“I think it’s going to be a fun day. I’m happy, and he’s probably very happy at what the leaderboard looks like at the moment. I definitely know he’s going to try to come beat me. I think it will be a really cool day tomorrow.
“I haven’t been in this position in a long time, and I’m going to have my caddie and my boyfriend all in the same group for it, which is pretty cool.”
Kupcho, for her part, is determined to overhaul Talley and earn her maiden LPGA Tour win at the weekend having come close on several occasions.
“Obviously I’m at the top, but I came out here to win, so just going to keep doing my best. There’s still two full rounds. Lots of golf and just got to keep my head in it,” said the American.
“I learn from every tournament and especially any time I’m in contention, so to be able to take that into this weekend I’m looking forward to it.
“I just focus on shot by shot and try to play my best. I’m have been playing good this week so I’m looking forward to taking it into the weekend.”
England’s Charley Hull is lurking at nine-under alongside Gemma Dryburgh, while Korea’s Min Seo Kwak is one shot further back at eight-under.