Hall leads International charge

Georgia Hall

The Oates Vic Open women’s leader board remains dominated by International players as the second round saw nine players from overseas finish in the top 10.

English teenager Georgia Hall extended her overnight outright lead of four under par on the creek course however what could have been a dominant lead was cut short by three late bogeys.

Hall, 19, still finished with a total of six birdies to bring her tally to seven under par; leading Nanna Madsen (Denmark) by a single stroke.

“I felt it was worse than yesterday. I know I was playing a different golf course but the holes were harder as well,” said Hall.

“There were some really long holes, like driver, three-wood into par-fours. It (the wind) got worse on the back nine.

“I dropped those couple at the end, but you know, it’s so tough out there you just have to be patient.”

Madsen came close to clinching the lead however revealed her double bogey on the creek course was a pure result of greed.

Nevertheless, the Copenhagen born 20-year-old admits she’s still excited about the upcoming weekend against Hall.

“I just had a new sponsor which was exciting so I want to make them all proud this weekend,” said Madsen.

“We (Hall and I) used to play amateur golf together and we were both playing last year.”

“We’re certainly not rivals, I really like her but I don’t have too much history with her because she’s from England and I’m from Denmark,” she added.

Just as Hall revealed yesterday, Madsen admitted her love for the tournament’s host nation.

“This is my second year as a professional and my second visit to Australia,” said Madsen.

“I love Australia; I’m not just saying that because I’m here speaking to the Australians.”

 She added, “I also think this concept is a great idea as the girls get more spectators here than usual.”

“It’s also fun to see the guys playing; I had a practise round with two guys and I found it very enjoyable to see their techniques.”

Justine Dreher (France) finished as the equal leader prior to Hall’s afternoon round, she is now outright third ahead of reigning champion Marianne Skarpnord.

“I started off really good, especially with my second and third shots however I was struggling a bit on the back nine with my first bogey; practically losing two shots to the field,” Skarpnord revealed.

“I hit it in the green-side bunker and it landed in a bad position, I simply smashed it over the green.”

The top 10 also featured Internationals Marion Ricordeau (France), Cathryn Bristow (New Zealand), Felicity Johnson (England), Olivia Cowan (Germany) and Leticia Ras Anderica (Spain).

“The leaderboard is interesting but we still have 36 holes to play and anything can happen with this wind if it stays the same as the past two days,” said Skarpnord.

“I said it late last year that ‘many overseas girls were going to come over’ and there’s no better place to be so it’s a good choice,” she added.

Stephanie Na was the only Australian in the top ten tied for 6th.

The 26-year-old registered five birdies at the expense of five bogeys this afternoon to finish one under par.

While uncertainty surrounded the advancement of former world number one Karrie Webb, the fan favourite managed to finish her second round with a birdie before hundreds of onlookers.

Webb will now play this weekend along with a host of female talent.

“When you play it with not a lot of wind (as in practice rounds), it’s not set up all that difficult, but when it’s blowing like this you’ve got to be on top of your game,” said Webb.

“That’s the beauty of a course that’s designed well – it can change every day and you don’t play it twice the same in a week.”

Webb, who played alongside Su Oh and 2013 winner Stacey Keating, was followed by many enthusiastic attendees throughout her afternoon on the beach course.

“I’ll just enjoy playing this course again for the weekend and just making strides in my game and feeling comfortable hitting the shots I need to hit,” she said.

“If I put a low one together tomorrow, who knows what could happen?”

Yu-Sang Hou (Taiwan) is the top placed amateur heading into round three after resurrecting a questionable performance yesterday.

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