England’s Laura Davies equalled her own course record of seven under 65 to take the clubhouse lead in the second round of the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open presented by Raiffeisen.
Davies, seeking her third victory at the event, finished on nine-under-par after two rounds at Golf Club Foehrenwald in Wiener Neustadt, two ahead of Ireland’s Rebecca Coakley, who shot 69.
Davies won back to back on the same golf course in 2007 and 2008 and was second last year after losing a play-off to Sweden’s Linda Wessberg.
“I’m in a position where I have a chance now whereas yesterday with that two under, I had to come and do what I did this morning: job done today but a long way to go,” she said.
Davies carded three birdies over the front nine and reeled off five successive birdies from the 11th.
At the par-five 15th, the 74-time tournament champion smashed two drives, one from the fairway, to 25 feet past the flag but narrowly missed the eagle putt. She finished with a bogey on 18 after hitting her second shot into the water right of the green.
“On the 15th green I hit that eagle putt and it was in for all money and that would have been nine-under with three to go and then you’re thinking of all sorts of numbers,” she said. “I missed that putt and didn’t birdie 16. I didn’t have a great chance and then missed the 17th and the 18th greens so it was a shame to finish like that but even so it’s a good round. I putted so well. That’s one of my best putting rounds of my whole life. I had 24 putts which for me, I mean, yesterday I had 32, which is way too many.”
Coakley has the chance to become the first Irishwoman to win in the 32-year history of the Ladies European Tour after two bogey-free rounds.
“I was pretty happy because I felt like I didn’t hit the ball that well but it was steady. I hit a couple of shots close and made the putts for birdie then. Everything else was okay so I’m pretty happy with 69,” said Coakley, who has had top ten finishes in Scotland and Finland over the last fortnight.
“I seem to always play reasonably well here. It’s similar grass to the course I play at home so it feels quite comfortable for me. I think I’m a little bit more confident in myself.”
Spain’s Marta Prieto made the best possible start to her second round she opened with a hole-in-one at the 10th and carded a 72.
Prieto used a five-iron to ace the 161-yard par-three 10th and won a €10,000 shopping spree sponsored by fashion brand AKRIS, which has show rooms, boutiques and retail outlets in a number of international cities including New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, London and Vienna.