New South Wales’ Sarah Kemp sits alone at the top of the leaderboard at nine-under-par at the halfway mark of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters in the UK.
The talented Sydneysider followed up her opening round of 67 with a four-under-par 68 on a hot and windy day at the leafy Buckinghamshire Golf Club, just outside London.
“It was nice and solid, nothing too crazy and I birdied the two par fives, 10 and 14,” said Kemp, with two runner-up finishes in six seasons on the Ladies European Tour.
“This is great. I haven’t been in this position too many times and this is where I want to be, somewhere in contention. I thought the wind was going to be up a bit more but it’s not really and not as strong as yesterday. There is definitely a bit of wind, but I’m happy with the score.”
Kemp started the second round in a share of the lead, and her second round got off to the perfect start with a birdie at her opening hole, the par 5 10th. Another birdie followed on the 14th, before she recorded her one and only bogey of the tournament so far on the 16th. Kemp hit straight back with a birdie on the par 4 17th. She then came home with two more birdies on her back nine.
Kemp holds a three shot lead over Amy Boulden from Wales and Celine Herbin. It is a truly international leaderboard. American Amelia Lewis (71), fellow Australian amateur Minjee Lee (68), France’s Gwladys Nocera (70), South Korean IK Kim (68) and South African Lee-Anne Pace (69) are all at five-under-par.
It was a very good day for the large Australian contingent. Kemp on top, Lee tied for fourth. ACT’s Nikki Campbell moved up the leaderboard with a fine 68 to be at four-under-par and shares ninth position with Wales’ Becky Morgan and Scotland's Sally Watson.
South Australian Stephanie Na (70) is at three-under and tied for 12th. Queensland’s Sarah Jane Smith (70) is a further shot a drift and tied for 17th. Defending champion Karrie Webb had a better day, she posted four birdies and two bogeys to sign for a 70 and one-under-par and is outright 21st. Another Australian amateur Su-Hyun Oh is performing well. Oh shares 28th position at one-over-par after signing for a 75. Rebecca Artis (74), Bree Arthur (75) and Nikki Garrett (71) all made the cut. Artis is tied for 42nd at three-over, Arthur is tied for 50th a further shot back, while Garrett shares 58th place at six-over.
The cut was made at six-over-par and 79 players, including six amateurs, will play for their share of the Euro 500,000 on offer. Unfortunately Whitney Hillier missed the cut by one, Stacey Keating, New Zealand’s Cathryn Bristow and Alison Whitaker will also have the week-end off.