(Lytham, August 1 2003) Heather Bowie from the USA fired a six under par 66 to take the lead after the second round of the £1.05million Weetabix Women’s British Open after a glut of low scoring on a benign day at Royal Lytham and St Annes GC near Blackpool.

Luna – happy to be out of sand?

One player of whom it could be understood if she never appeared at Royal Lytham again was Italian Diana Luna, who endured a torrid time in two of the 196 bunkers around this venerable links.

The 21-year-old from Rome carded a 23-over par 95 in the second round with the 14th and 18th holes responsible for 22 of those blows during a back nine of 55.

Luna carded a 12 at the par-four 14th hole after taking four swipes to extract herself from a deep pot bunker. But during one of those shots – she cannot remember which – the ball ricocheted off the riveted bunker face onto her chest, causing a two shot penalty. A chip and three putts later she could only just fit the number onto the score card.

And bizarrely, at the final hole, the glamorous Italian endured groundhog syndrome when she found the left fairway bunker from the tee and while trying to extricate her ball, it bounced off the face of the bunker and hit her again – another two shots! The ball stayed in and when she got it out, it found another bunker. After a splash out, she chipped onto the green, two putted for a ten and must have wished another bunker would appear to swallow her.

“I wasn’t angry,” said Luna. “I knew my score would be too many and I was going to miss the cut anyway. If I was on the cut line, it would have been a lot different and much more serious.”

So what would be the Italian’s memories of Lytham? “It’s a beautiful course and I really enjoyed it,” she added. “Normally I am very good out of the bunkers – really good from sand, but today I had some problems in them and it made it a long day!”

Luna was not the only person to end the day in pain, for Philippa Taylor, sister-in-law of Kirsty Taylor, the runner up at this championship in 2000, had to visit the St John’s Ambulance brigade thanks to her wayward relative.

At the final hole, Taylor stood at four under par and on the cusp of missing the cut. But after carving her drive to the right, her ball bounced on the head of her sister-in-law, stayed in play and the 31-year-old from Clitheroe made full use of a nine-wood from the wispy grass, knocked it to 15 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie to make it into the weekend!”

“I think she’ll be OK,” said Taylor. “But I definitely have her to thank for getting me in this weekend. It was a great header – any footballer would have been proud of that one.”