Twenty-one-year-old Georgia Hall heads a quartet of English stars in contention going heading into the weekend of the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
The current leader on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit set the clubhouse target on day two at Kingsbarns on nine-under-par before she was joined by Lexi Thompson and then surpassed by Korean In-Kyung Kim, who holds the outright lead on 11-under-par.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff is well placed on seven-under-par, while Charley Hull and Mel Reid are two shots further back on five-under-par. All four are looking to become the first English winner of a major since Karen Stupples in the 2004 Women’s British Open at Sunningdale.
Player gives Hall words of wisdom
Hall recently played 18 holes at Wentworth alongside Gary Player in his Berenberg Invitational event and revealed the nine-time major winner gave her some quality advice which she has already been applying to her game.
“He said I should take a pad out with me and write down how many times I get up-and-down from a hundred yards,” she explained.
“Then he said if you're going to practice for three hours, you should practice short game for two of those. He talked about short game and said you should never feel sorry for yourself and never give up. So those things were kind of big to me.”
Kim battles conditions to lead
Thirty-six hole lead Kim battled through some pretty torrential downpours to make to the clubhouse two ahead of Hall and Thompson.
The 29-year-old, whose has 12 top tens in majors including two runner-up finishes, carded an eagle and birdie on the back nine to follow up a seven-under-par 65 in the first round with a four-under-par 68 in round two.
"It was really hard towards the end - it was pouring down. The eagle was very unexpected but my drive hit the downslope and I was able to get on the green in two and make the putt. It was very rewarding and all season I've been very consistent in my shot-making."
Defending champ crashes out after a 9!
With eight holes to go and at three-under-par, it looked like defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn (above) was going to safely make the cut. Then she got stuck in a greenside bunker at the par-3 12th. It took her SIX shots to get out and she made a nine, with bogey at 18 capping a miserable final few holes.
The Thai wasn’t the only big-name casualty though. Recent major champion Danielle Kang missed the cut too, as did Scotland’s No.1 Catriona Matthew with Sally Watson (below) – who is quitting professional golf after this week – the only one of seven Scots to make the cut.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff (-7): “Having my family be able to come and watch is amazing. Historically I have never played well on links courses. This is only my second cut made at the British Open so it’s nice to be playing the weekend.”
Mel Reid (-5): “I didn't play well at all. It was pretty pathetic on the greens today. I missed three or four within 4ft that put me at five-under compared to leading the tournament. But going in four back, if you had said that to me on Thursday morning, I would have taken it. It's the perfect position. I like to chase. I'm literally just going to go out this weekend and play really aggressive and try and get this putter hot and see what we can do.”
Laura Davies (-2): “At the top end of women’s golf in England, it's really good. Charley won last year, I think Mel is going to win one soon in America, which would be great. At the moment, the English girls are going really well.”
T32: Sally Watson (-3)
T96: Catriona Matthew (+2)
T118: Pamela Pretswell (+4)
T128: Carly Booth (+5)
T128: Kylie Henry (+5, 12)
T134: Vikki Laing (+6)
T139: Heather Macrae (+8, 13)
Moment of the day
It came from Jenny Shin in the second group of the day. On the par-3 14th hole, she made a hole-in-one from 171 yards!