Olivia Mehaffey heads into the weekend at the Communicad de Madrid Ladies Open inside the top-20 but six shots off the lead as she looks to make a move on the Ladies European Tour.
The Tandragee woman added a one-under 71 on day two to her opening 69 to move up to four-under-par and in a share of 17th at the halfway stage at Jarama-RACE Golf Club in the Spanish capital.
However, she will need to pick up the pace over the final two rounds if she wants to compete at the top as she trails Tiia Koivisto by six shots, the Finn holding a one-shot lead over Sweden’s Linn Grant – who set a new course record on Friday – and Spanish amateur Cayetana Fernandez at 10-under-par.
There will be a bittersweet feeling for Mehaffey, however, as although she is in a good position at the midway point, she will know it could have been better as she started quickly with two birdies in her opening five holes but never quite backed that up.
Two bogeys at the 12th and 13th dropped her back to three-under, where she had started the day, and although she immediately rectified that with back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15, she would drop back one more shot to four-under.
That leaves her with ground to make up in Madrid, with Koivisto’s bogey-free six-under 66 – which included an eagle and four birdies – taking her up to 10-under-par, one clear of the chasing pack.
Grant was even more impressive in her second round as an eight-birdie seven-under 65 means she now holds the course record at Jarama-RACE Golf Club, and it could have been even better had she not carded a bogey at the 15th.
The Swede is in a share for second alongside Fernandez, who shot a 67 on day two, with fellow Spaniard Ana Pelaez the next best on the leaderboard as a 67 took her to eight-under-par.