Meadow and Maguire safely through as Ewing pulls clear at Walton Heath

Mark McGowan
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Leona Maguire (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow are both safely through to the weekend at the AIG Women’s British Open at Walton Heath, but at level-par and one-over respectively, they’re a long way off the blistering pace set by American Ally Ewing.

Meadow, who was among the early starters on day two, followed up her opening 71 with a two-over 73 in the second round which left the Jordanstown native perched just above the early cutline.

With the wind expected to strengthen in the afternoon, the chances of Meadow ending the day the wrong side of the mark looked slim, but nevertheless, she’ll have kept a close eye on the leaderboard to ensure that nothing unexpected happened at the difficult Surrey track, but she needn’t have worried as the large group at +2 all joined the weekend party as well.

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After opening with a par-four, she’d go bogey, birdie, bogey, birdie through the following four holes and from there she’d par her way to the turn.

Not quite firing on all cylinders, she’d bogey two of the closing nine holes – including the par-4 closer – without picking up any further strokes and eventually signed for a 73 that saw her drop to one-over for the tournament and provisionally in a tie for 54th.

Meadow, who came into the week ranked 60th on the Race to CME Globe standings, needs a couple of good performances throughout the rest of the season to ensure her participation in the season-ending big money event held in Florida.

Maguire, who started shortly after midday, navigated the front nine in similar fashion to Meadow and remained at level-par through nine. Bogeys on 10 and 13 left her staring nervously at the cutline as well, but digging deep with birdies at 14 and 17, she safely joined Meadow for the weekend rounds though at level-par, she’s a long way off the pace.

“Yeah, I mean, tee-to-green, I played really solid today,” Maguire said afterwards, “and played way better than I did yesterday, gave myself a lot of chances, just a few three-putts which were a bit of a killer for momentum. And felt like I played well enough to shoot 4-, 5-under, so just those three-putts are kind of what held me back.”

With the event being staged just south of London, Maguire was buoyed on by vocal Irish support in what remains a highly Irish populated city. “Yeah, there definitely was,” she replied when asked if there had been many Irish in attendance. “There definitely was a few. I think there’s a lot of Irish around London, so hopefully there will be a few more out over the weekend.”

Three-time LPGA Tour winner Ally Ewing, who took the first-round leader honours with a four-under 68, came roaring from the traps in round two to take firm control of the event.

Five birdies on her opening nine holes was the ideal start, and when she rolled in another at 11 she’d reached double digits under par and lead by seven. A single birdie and a single bogey from there saw her reach the clubhouse to lead the trio of Andrea Lee, Charley Hull and Minami Katsu by five with a further four one additional shot adrift.

Anna Foster’s debut major championship came to a close but she’ll take heart from a much improved second round and the two birdies on her back nine will provide fond memories, even if the week didn’t quite pan out as she’d planned.

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