2015 Oates Vic Open champion Marianne Skarpnord has declared fellow Nordic golfer Nicole Broch Larsen (Denmark) as the player to beat this weekend.
The Norwegian Skarpnord reignited her 2017 tournament campaign by shooting five under par for the day (bringing her to -6) and will now spend the afternoon studying her opposition.
“I think Nicole Brooke Larsen will be a very good chance, her long drives are beneficial on the par-5 holes and she’s played well for the last three years,” Skarpnord said.
“She’s going to have a really good season this year.”
Skarpnord’s efforts kept her in contention with seven birdies including an impressive chip shot on the 18th hole; one she made famous in her 2015 twin victory with partner Richard Green.
However she remains six strokes behind the 23-year-old Larsen who will tee off at 1.10pm.
“Every time that I walk up the fairway on the 18th I think about that day and how good it would be to repeat it but unfortunately I had a poor start and Greeny wasn’t quite there yesterday,” Skarpnord said.
“Today I played well on my front nine (the back nine of the course) and I made a couple of good putts which rectified the bogey on the turn.”
Skarpnord, who is a resident at 13th Beach with Green, was ironically the first to tee off at 7am this morning; making for a long 31st birthday celebration today.
“I’ve never been here at 6am before but I could not have asked for a better morning, it was beautiful,” Skarpnord revealed.
“To be honest, I’ve celebrated my birthdays in Australia for the last ten years and tonight we’re off to a pizza party which will be good.”
She added, “I really wish Europe could do the same format because I love it here, the people who work at this tournament become friends and they even feel like family”
“If you’re ever in trouble you just ask Simon (Brookhouse) or Langers (Andrew Langford-Jones) and you just don’t have those relationships in Europe that often unfortunately.”