Date: February 14, 2009
Author: Angus Morgan at Metropolitan GC, Sportal

Lee snatches lead from Webb

Celebrating her first visit Down Under, South Korea&aposs Lee Chang-Hee holds a two-stroke lead at the half-way mark of the 2009 Australian Open at Melbourne&aposs Metropolitan Golf Club. The 20-year-old backed up her opening round 69 with a 70 on Friday to displace titleholder Karrie Webb from the top of the leader board. Looking to build on her opening round 66, Webb negotiated Friday&aposs outward nine in regulation before blotting her copybook with a double-bogey five at the 132-metre par-three 13th en route to a 75. “I didn&apost play the par fives well,” lamented Webb, who birdied four of Metro&aposs five par fives on Thursday. “I parred all of them, so I left a few shots out there but I&aposm just glad that I hung in there and that I&aposm only two shots behind.” “There were just not enough birdies on the somewhat easier holes today to compensate for those tough finishing holes into the wind.” At five-under, Webb enjoys a share of second place with England&aposs Georgina Simpson and Tania Elosegui of Spain who fired a 72. Rebecca Flood (71, 72) and Justine Lee (73, 70) are both at three-under in the race for leading amateur. Speaking through an interpreter, the tournament leader, who has one secondary tour victory to her credit in her two years as a professional, credited sound putting and making &aposlots of saves&apos for her strong performance. “I don&apost want to think too much about being the leader,” Lee said. “I just want to stay calm and not think about my score.” “I didn&apost expect to be leading so I don&apost want to jump ahead of myself.” Simpson jumped into contention with a 68, the best round of the day. The 33-year-old described the conditions at Metropolitan on Friday morning compared to Thursday afternoon when she completed an opening round even par 73 as being &aposlike night and day&apos. “It was pretty tough yesterday so it was just great to play the golf course (today),” said Simpson. “It&aposs a great golf course and it&aposs been a pleasure to think up shots and enjoy when it comes off.” “I&aposve had a bit of luck with the bounces, but it&aposs just great, really pleasing.” Last-start winner Katherine Hull flirted with the cut after slipping to plus-six midway through her morning round before making up ground on the back nine. The 26-year-old came into the Open as a tournament favourite on the strength of her five-shot victory in last week&aposs Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines in Queensland which lifted her to No.20 on the world rankings. Hull (76, 74) finished at plus-four, the same as playing partner Laura Davies who was livid with herself for finishing with three successive bogeys for a 76. Twelve-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl Oh Su-Hyun, the youngest-ever player to compete in an Australian Women&aposs Open, failed to make the cut. Much as she did on Thursday, Oh faded over the closing stages of her round to finish with an 81, plus-14 overall. Finland&aposs Ursula Wikstrom was disqualified from the Open on Friday for continuing to use a putter she had bent in frustration after bogeying the 16th, her seventh hole for the round. The 28-year-old was eight-over at the time.