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Porter in contention at Women’s NSW Open

Australian rookie Cassie Porter has a chance to kickstart her three-month-old professional career in Sunday’s final round of the Women’s NSW Open.

Nineteen-year-old Porter shares second place in the Ladies European Tour event after shooting a five-under 67 third round.

After dropping a shot on the first, the 19-year-old got on the birdie train once again rolling in five consecutively on holes four through to eight before making thee birdies and two bogeys on her back nine.

“I had all of my family come out and watch me and it made me a bit nervous,” Porter said.

“The bogey on the first was probably a good thing, it just settled me and made me get into my processes and all the things I needed to do.

“It was really good today.”

But she faces a big task to haul in Sweden’s Maja Stark, who jumped out to a four-shot lead at 13 under with a 66 around the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads course.

Stark has already stamped herself as a rising star in world golf with two LET titles since turning pro last August.

The 22-year-old is coming off a second placing at last week’s Australian Women’s Classic at Bonville.

Stark put together seven birdies on Saturday.

“I want to win it. I always want to win it and I always go into every tournament expecting the best from myself, so it shouldn’t be something unusual tomorrow,” she said.

“I just want to play my best.”

Porter is tied with Johanna Gustavsson, who like her fellow Swede Stark shot a 66 — with a remarkable nine birdies, including a trio to cap off her round.

They are one shot clear of Scotland’s Michele Thompson (67), Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher (70) and Lydia Hall of Wales (70).

Australian amateur Kelsey Bennett is in a share of 10th place on four under.

Despite a back injury in late 2019 that sidelined her for over a year, Porter stamped herself as one of the country’s top amateurs before making her pro debut in January.

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