Walsh safely through as Mehaffey misses out at Joburg Ladies Open

Kevin Kent

Lauren Walsh (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto)

Kevin Kent

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Lauren Walsh will be the sole Irish representative over the weekend after another gruelling day at Modderfontein Golf Club in the second round of the Joburg Ladies Open.

The final three-ball of the day saw Walsh begin on the par-5 10th hole. On a brutal first-nine, Walsh was neat and tidy and navigated her way around blemish free to turn on level-par for the day, and the tournament. With the travails of others and a cut line heading well north of par, this was a great start for the Castlewarden woman. Trouble would follow though, as bogey on the par-4 second hole would be followed by more on the next two holes. A solid run home of five pars would see Walsh progress to the weekend though, finishing on three-over after Friday’s action.

With just 22 of the top-60 and ties under par, whoever, there is ground to be gained over the weekend if Walsh can maintain her consistency.

Olivia Mehaffey started in the morning groups and, having witnessed the pitfalls of the course yesterday first hand, knew she had a job on her hands on day two. It would be another battle for the Arizona State alum and a solitary birdie on her front-nine was slim consolation for the four bogeys blotting the card to turn in 40 on eight-over.

A mini-rally would see Mehaffey claw two back with birdies on the 13th and the par-3 14th. However, this could not stem the bleed as another double would follow on 15 and one more bogey on the 18th would see Mehaffey bow out of the week as Modderfontein was laying waste to a field of pros.

Overnight leader April Anguraseranee was one many others to succumb to the unforgiving course on Friday. A haul of nine birdies yesterday were replaced by six bogeys today with only three birdies in riposte. She sits tied-8th on three-under.

A local talent, Nadia van der Westhuizen lit it up however, as her round featured a run of five straight birdies beginning on the par-5 fifth hole. A round of 68 leaves her on nine-under, one stroke clear of Switzerland’s Chiara Tamburlini, who’s score equalled the leader on a tricky second day to sit second with Thailand’s Anuchisa Utama in third on six-under. Shannon Tan lurks one further back after two solid under-par rounds.

Speaking after her impressive round of 68, Tamburlini was asked her thoughts heading into the weekend just one shot shy of the lead: “I had a lovely day. It was a wonderful group, I played with Marta and Nicole, and we had so much fun out there today, which always helps to keep our head occupied between the shots. I mean just really solid playing the same as yesterday.” Asked about what the strengths of her game this week: “That’s tough to say, to be honest everything was pretty solid, but putting definitely was really good, and converting some of those birdies as well, and making a few important five-footers to save par just to keep myself in it. ”

The Swiss kicks off her weekend in the leaders three-ball with van der Westhuizen and Thailand’s Utama at 11.10am on a split-tee start tomorrow. Lauren Walsh, meanwhile gets her Saturday underway on the 10th at 10.10am with Emily Price and Italy’s Virginia Elena Carta.

With consistency key heading into the weekend, there are sure to be more twists and turns on Modderfontein.


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