Date: February 06, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Su storms into lead

Su-hyun Oh admits she’s a leaderboard looker – that spelt bad news for her Victorian Open rivals today.

The Melbourne prodigy began her second round in the afternoon eight shots adrift of then outright leader Sally Watson.

Five magical hours and one course record later, Oh was joint leader.

Remarkably, the 18-year-old began her destruction of the 13th Beach Golf Links Beach Course with a bogey before peeling off nine birdies to nab a share of the lead with Watson and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord.

Even more impressive was that she did it needing back-to-back high finishes the next two weeks to win an ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open berth in a fortnight.

“I didn’t think much about the Australian Open, I just saw I was eight behind at the start and said `Su, come on, you need to lift’,” the effervescent Oh said.

“I thought I should catch up a little bit to the leader … and I’m really glad I did it.

“I like checking scores (to) tell myself to go low.

“It’s the best I’ve played for a while, the best putting. The last eight under was at Royal Pines two years ago (in the Ladies Australian Masters), so I’m glad that (scoring) is back.

“I holed some really good putts, holed a chip shot and that (opening hole) was the only five I had on my card all day,” compared to the seven she endured in an even-par 73 in round one.

“There wasn’t much difference to yesterday, but I was a little more focused and hit better putts and obviously I scored much better.”

Watson came to 13th Beach wanting early-season tournament practice.

But it’s suddenly far more serious for the likeable Scottish woman who fired a second consecutive 69.

But the second-year Ladies European Tour professional didn’t want to be drawn on her winning chances, instead choosing to focus on her tactics.

After firing a blemish-free opening round on Thursday, she made six birdies but offset them with two bogeys today.

Yet Watson wasn’t content that she was aggressive enough on the same Beach Course she’ll play all weekend.

“The game is in good shape, so I don’t necessarily think I have to change any of that, it’s just continuing to push myself to attack when the opportunities present,” she said.

“My tendency not just today but every day is to play a little too conservatively.”

Watson finished high in the gruelling LET Q-school in late 2013 and was in contention once last year and eventually finished third, giving her confidence she’ll have the mental strength to withstand the inevitable pressure this weekend.

Skarpnord was ominous in compiling a bogey-free 68 to take her place in the final group on Saturday.

But the wildcard could be red-hot amateur Shelly Shin who continued her dazzling recent run with a 67 to go to seven under and outright fourth one off the pace.

Comeback queen Rachel Hetherington fired a three-under 70 to stay in touch, while drawcard Laura Davies hit back from her opening 78 with a spectacular 67 to wind back the clock and go into the weekend one under par.