Marianne Skarpnord took command of the Oates Victorian Open late yesterday – then just wanted to sleep.
The affable Norwegian has made just two bogeys in 54 classy holes en route to a 13-under total that left her three clear of England’s Holly Clyburn, with local hope Su-hyun Oh one stroke further back.
Skarpnord, who moved into a new course-side property with fiancé and men’s title hope Richard Green on Monday night, made a bogey on the third, but then poured in six blemish-free birdies for a second consecutive 68 spanning a 75-minute weather delay.
“I played really well (after the break), from 10-14,”said the multiple Ladies European Tour winner who was looking desperately for a rest after a frenetic week on and off the course.
“But on the 15th hole I could feel really tired and it was all about surviving for me then.
“But then I finished up with a birdie which I was really happy with.”
Clyburn, similarly, charged home; but the talented Englishwoman made an even bigger statement with an eagle to vault past Oh as daylight faded.
Oh, who needs a prominent finish this week and next in the Australian Ladies Masters to earn a start in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, just couldn’t find the magic that swept her to a course-record 65 on Friday.
“It was just a boring day, I didn’t have any birdie chances because I didn’t hit it very good today,” the 18-year-old said.
“ made some good up and downs, so that was good. But it is really so much more fun when you a putt for birdie and then make easy pars; it was kind of grind today.”
Oh, who was in the final group last year as an amateur alongside eventual champ Minjee Lee, will again be in the last group out tomorrow but with a totally different agenda.
“I can’t hold back, so I hope I can have another day like yesterday.”
The women took charge early today with New South Welshwoman Rebecca Artis (69) and England’s Ellie Givens (67) rising into contention.
But the day’s best round belonged to Victorian Breanna Elliott, whose 66 brought her back into red numbers at two under.
Australian amateur champion Shelly Shin, a member of the Golf Australia national squad, remained right in the hunt with an eagle on the last for a one-under-par 72 to tied fourth on eight under alongside first-round leader Sally Watson (73).
VICTORIAN OPEN LEADERBOARDS
-14 Jason Scrivener (WA)
-13 Ben Eccles (Vic, am)
Nick Cullen (SA)
-12 Ryan Ruffels (Vic, am)
-11 Richard Green (Vic)
Andrew Schonewille (Vic, am)
Dimitrios Papadatos (NSW)
Mitchell Brown (NSW)
Matt Millar (ACT)
Scott Arnold (NSW)
-13 Marianne Skarpnord (NOR)
-10 Holly Clyburn (ENG)
-9 Su-hyun Oh (Vic)
-8 Shelly Shin (NSW, am)
Sally Watson (Sco)
-7 Ellie Givens (ENG)
Sophie Walker (ENG)