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Just Imagine

Monke leads as Sorenstam slips off pace

  • Story Highlights
  • Annika Sorenstam falls four shots off the pace in the Dubai Ladies Masters
  • The Swede cards a third round 75 having led at halfway in farewell tournament
  • Anja Monke of Germany leads in search of her second European Tour victory
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(CNN) -- Annika Sorenstam faces an uphill battle to sign off on her remarkable career with a victory as she slipped to a three-over-par 75 to fall four shots behind third round leader Anja Monke of Germany in the Dubai Ladies Masters.

Monke gatecrashed Sorenstam's party with a fine four-under 68 to take the lead in Dubai.

The legendary Swede looked poised for her 90th tournament victory when she led at halfway in an event she has made her own with victories in the two previous stagings.

But she struggled on the Majlis course of the Emirates Golf Club on Saturday, carding a solitary birdie and four bogeys.

Monke, who won the first-ever title in France earlier this season, added a four-under 68 that gave her a two-shot lead on nine-under 207 in the final event of the 2008 European Ladies Tour.

Italian Veronica Zorzi might have been joint leader but was penalized two shots when her ball moved on the 15th green after addressing.

She was tied for second place with Denmark's Iben Tinning on seven-under 209.

Swede Sophie Gustafson shot the day's best round of six-under 66 to move up to tied fourth place on six-under 210 alongside English veteran Laura Davies.

But all the attention focused on 38-year-old Sorenstam, who announced in May she would be bringing her professional career to a halt for family and business reasons.

Despite still suffering from the affects of a flu bug and her poor third round, Sorenstam remained optimistic of a third straight win in Dubai.

"I've done it before. I just have to come out tomorrow, be fresh and get off to a good start and get some good momentum. I am not giving up by any chance. I just walked off the course disappointed, but I will be ready for tomorrow," she told the official Web site of the European Ladies Tour.

Monke said she had mixed emotions about possibly denying Sorenstam a fairytale goodbye victory. "She is, of course, one of my idols and the idol of any girl who touches a golf club," she said.

"She has done many, many things for women's golf and I think without her we wouldn't be here today."

Gwladys Nocera of France, who leads the European money list, continued to improve with a one-under 71 to move into red figures overall.

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