Date: March 05, 2010
Author:

ALPG/LET – BLUMENHERST AND LIM SHARE SLENDER LEAD AT ANZ

(5 March 2010 – Gold Coast)

rnFirst round leader, Amanda Blumenherst birdied her final hole of the day to join the early second round leader Ji-Na Lim in the lead at the completion of 36 holes at the ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. That pair enjoys a two shot break over Australian&aposs Karrie Webb, Katherine Hull and Tamie Durdin and Korean&aposs Seo Yeon Ryu and Hee-Kyung Seo.

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In darkening and, at times, wet afternoon conditions, Blumenherst made a slow start today but was soon into stride, making the turn in one under 34 and adding further birdies at the 3rd and 4th (her 12th and 13th holes) to move to 9 under and into a share of the lead with Lim.

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Lim had completed her second round of 66 five hours earlier and with the reachable par five 9th hole still to come it appeared that Blumenherst might just retain her outright opening round lead. Blumenherst’s group of Sarah Oh, Tania Elosegui and the American were placed on the clock after losing contact with the field early in their back nine. Blumenherst appeared a little rushed when she arrived at the second to last hole of the round, the par four 8th. A bad tee shot there led to a bogey but she hit a superb drive at the last to set up a closing birdie and she had a share of the lead again.  “I don’t like being put on the clock,” said Blumenherst. “We got behind on our 10th hole after having to wait for a ruling. We had been right on the tail of the group ahead up until then. I don’t feel like I am going overtime but you are still consciously thinking about being penalisedI am very proud of myself. I was nervous of course today as I have never had the lead in a professional tournament before. It is definitely a different experience but I felt I handled it well, played my game and stayed focused.”

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Lim, who played in the morning group on day 2, is playing the ANZ Ladies Masters for the fourth consecutive year, her previous best finish coming in 2009 when 36th. A significant improvement in Lim’s short game has led to an elevation in her status on the Korean LPGA Tour, winning for the second occasion there in 2009 and finishing 8th on their money list.
rn“I did not really expect to play well this week but the damp course conditions made me focus even more this week,” said Lim through an interpreter. “In the past my ball striking has been my strength but my short game and putting has improved a lot and so my game has changed in that regard.” Lim was out in two under 35 but then stormed home in the humid overcast conditions with a back nine of 31 to finish with 66 and when she faced the media at 12.30pm she led by two.

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Highlighting the strength of the Korean LPGA Tour is that the number one and two on that tour’s 2009 money list were amongst those sharing third place behind Blumenherst and Lim.
rnRyu and Seo were prolific winners on the Korean LPGA Tour in 2009, Seo winning on five occasions and Ryo four. Ryu also won the Ladies China Open and, very importantly in the context of this event, was runner up to Katherine Hull here last year.

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South Australia’s Tamie Durdin was one of the talking points of day one, both good and bad. When she made the turn in her opening round she was at seven under and even at that early stage held a four shot lead. She would tumble badly over her closing nine holes to finish with a three under 69. How would she handle that let down on day two? Well any questions in that regard were quickly answered when she played those same horror nine holes in 34 today and she had quickly moved within three of Lim. When Durdin finished with a round of 68 to be in the group at 7 under she had completed an impressive and gutsy comeback. “I thought a lot about it (the demise of day one) last night,” said Durdin. “I spoke to my sports psychologist and today was all about hitting the shot that was in front of me.”
rnSix time champion, Karrie Webb, and defending champion Katherine Hull were also out late in the day and both stayed very much in touch. “I’m happy with the position with I am in being just two shots back,” said Webb after her two birdies in her last three holes kept her in touch.

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The cut fell at even par with exactly 65 players making it through to the weekend.

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Story By Bruce Young  – Photos by Paul Melville
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