Rebecca Artis is within reach of securing her first major tournament on home soil come Sunday afternoon at the 2015 Australia Classic being played at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney.
Artis followed up her superb opening round of 65 with a round of three-under-par 69 to be just one behind China’s Yanhong Pan, who leads the tournament at 11-under par after rounds of 68 and 65.
Outright third is fellow compatriot Ziqi Ye (67) at eight-under-par, with Malaysia’s Michelle Koh (67) a further shot back. China’s Weiwei Zhang(69) is at six-under-par, while first round co-leader Sarah Oh is outright sixth at five under. ACT’s Nikki Campbell (70), SA’s Stephanie Na (71) and Victorian Alison Whitaker (70) round out the top 10 at four-under-par.
Artis finished in a share of second place at the Bing Lee Fujitsu Women’s NSW Open in March and is looking to finish one better in the co-sanctioned ALPG and China LPGA event.
Artis got off to a perfect start, birdie, par and she eagled the short par 4. Another birdie followed shortly after on the par 3 sixth. A three putt bogey on the par 5 9th saw her go out in three-under-par 33. The back nine saw her post another birdie and bogey on the tough par 4 18th.
Artis was pleased with her start, “Yes, it was a nice way to start, birdie, par, eagle. I hit a great shot into the 1st, into about three inches, just a wedge in my hand. Then hit another good shot into the second and the putt lipped out on me, then made 25 footer for eagle on the drivable par 4.”
“I played pretty solid the back nine, birdied the 12th, then missed opportunity on 13 which was a little disappointing, then bogey the 18th. 18 played long today, hit driver 3 iron, then didn’t get up and down.”
On being in the mix again the 2013 Helsingborg Open winner responded, “Yeah looking forward to it, just go out and play the golf course and see what happens.”
Being in contention over the Australian summer will hopefully help her get that first title on home soil, “The best way to learn to deal with it is to put yourself there as much as you can and get better at dealing with it, so that is all I can do it keep putting myself there and hopefully the opportunity comes. “
“It would be great, any event you can win in Australia is fabulous, at home, you know, for it to be the first Australian Classic it would be awesome.”
Pan putter was hot today and hopes to keep it going tomorrow.
“I always be chasing at the first 9 holes. My putting is really hot and give me a lot help coming to this position. Like I said, I felt relax in Sydney, which makes me feel comfortable on the course. Suddenly, I felt I could play very well, hope I can keep this state tomorrow. This is the first time for me to play the leading group overseas. I will still be aggressive and focus on my game. ”
The final group tees off at 11.07am.