Date: August 01, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Lee fires into Open mix

Minjee Lee flirted with the lead and put herself well in Women’s British Open contention overnight.

Lee, 19, defied savage weather lashing Turnberry to charge to three under — six under overall — midway through her second round and within one of leader Suzann Pettersen.

But a bogey on 12 and a couple more to close her round dropped the Perth prodigy back to an even-par 72 and three under total on the Scottish west coast course.

It left the Golf Australia rookie pro right in the thick of the weekend action in a tie for seventh, just four back from the Norwegian, who played one of her greatest rounds (69) given the conditions to lead by two at seven under.

The chasing field contains world No.2 Lydia Ko, of New Zealand, who fired an entertaining 73 to finish five under.

Two Victorians join Lee as the Aussies to make cut. Stacey Keating fired a 76 to finish three over – a number that shaped as perhaps the cut figure early in the round.

But the trying weather forced that mark out rapidly through the afternoon with only five players breaking par in the second round compared to 52 sub-par first rounds.

A big beneficiary of that was Melbourne’s Su Oh, whose even-par 72 was good enough for a five-over finish to make the cut on the number.

Oh had been enjoying a spectacular round until four bogeys in her closing six holes threw her back into the ruck.

Not so fortunate was Rebecca Artis, of New South Wales, who had been one over through 27 holes before the conditions took their toll.

Artis, who won on the LET last week, dropped nine shots on her closing nine to finish 10 over.

Karrie Webb (+11) and Sarah Kemp (+17) also missed the cut in conditions that leader Pettersen said made her round one of her best.

“Today was a very solid round of golf,” Pettersen said.

“I felt I was in 100 per cent control of the ball, the flight, the spin; everything you need to do in conditions like this. So this ranks pretty high as a good round of golf.

“Today is a day where you try to make it easier on yourself and I had a very pain-free round. I kept myself out of trouble … (and) easy pars is a nice thing.”

Pettersen’s 68-69 gives her a shot at redemption at the year’s fourth major.

She finished just a shot out of a playoff a year ago and tied for fourth in 2013.

“I’m getting older. I’m getting wiser. I’m learning. And I guess that’s why this game is so great,” Pettersen said.

“Every year you learn something different, how you can kind of maneuver yourself around a golf course. I’m probably playing a bit smarter. I feel (on) links courses, it’s a lot about tee balls.”