The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open may have lost the likes of Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko and Catriona Matthew at the halfway stage, but that hasn’t stopped an all-star leaderboard developing at the summit at Gullane.
While world No.177 Tiffany Joh leads the way after following up a nine-under-par 62 yesterday with a 67 today to lead on 13-under, the three highest-ranked players in the field are all in hot pursuit.
Joh, who is in pursuit of her maiden LPGA Tour title, had her overnight lead trimmed by one as world No.3 Ariya Jutanugarn fired a six-under-par 65 to finish three shots back on ten-under-par.
“I’m surprised how well I’ve played as I haven’t played golf for two weeks and I don’t really like links courses or playing in the wind,” confessed the two-time major champion, who won her 2016 RICOH Women’s British Open title at the parkland Woburn.
“Everything is just so tough on links courses – but I feel pretty good in myself and I didn’t miss many putts.”
World No.2 Sung Hyun Park, meanwhile, is two shots further back after putting together back-to-back 67s as her playing partners Wie (five-over) and Matthew (six-over) toiled on a near-perfect day in East Lothian.
Park’s compatriot, world No.4 So Yeon Ryu, is among a group of players on seven-under-par, which also includes world No.11 Minjee Lee, and she credited the presence of coach Cameron McCormick – who also coaches Jordan Spieth – for her performance through 36 holes.
“Having him here on the golf course is a great help, especially on this type of course,” she explained.
“There’s a lot of imagination involved and it’s been really helpful in terms of my preparation for this tournament.”
The leading European is German Caroline Masson, who is four shots off the lead on nine-under-par, while Georgia Hall is the leading player from the UK on three-under-par.
Kelsey MacDonald and Kylie Henry were the only Scots to make it to the weekend. MacDonald is level par for the tournament, while Henry made the cut on the number at one-over-par.