|Laura Davies hits a tee shot at National GC while Carlota Ciganda watches on|
Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Carmen Alonso share the halfway lead at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. The trio sit at four under par after 36 holes played in sunny conditions at National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya.
With overnight leader Carlota Ciganda a stroke back on three under, the leader board is packed with long hitters who have so far cleverly plotted their way around the tight-tree lined course.
Johnson fired a second round two-under-par 71 after holing a wedge shot for eagle on the par-five 15th mixed with birdies on the sixth and 18th against bogeys on the first and 17th.
However, she only held the lead for only a short time before former fellow Solheim Cup player Davies holed a five-footer for birdie on the 18th green to join her at four-under. Alonso, playing in the last match of the day, then joined the duo on that number.
Johnson said: “I think Laura’s just made birdie at 18 which is typical – always taking the limelight away!
“I played well, played sensibly. It was tough today, hard work. You can see from the scores no one’s really made a load of birdies. Pins were tough, tricky conditions and it just felt like a day for hanging in there really. My short game’s good, my putting is good; most of its good, so hopefully two more days and we’ll see how it goes.”
On the difficulty of the par-73 layout, Johnson added: “There are birdie chances, some shorter holes, but you’ve got to hit it straight as an arrow and if you don’t, every hole is pretty similar. If you’re not on your game you’re probably not going to find it out there. The greens are rolling great and if you hit a putt on line: it’s in. It doesn’t go off line at all. All you can do is keep out of trouble. It’s only the second day, so it’s nothing to get too excited about because there’s a long way to go, but I’d rather be here than in any other position.”
|Trish Johnson on day two at The National|
Meanwhile, Davies, playing with a local caddie, made five birdies and, despite bogeys on one and five, her birdie on the tough par-four 18th saw her move joint top.
“It’s not a course that I generally think suits my game because it’s pure precision golf and obviously I’m not known for that, but it just shows that a bit of discipline, you can actually get it round,” said Davies, who fired a three-under 69.
“I putted well today which is something I haven’t done for the last 18 months. I really holed two very good par putts and they are almost more important than the birdie putts. Finishing the last with those three shots was great,” she said.
Alonso overcame a double at the eighth and three bogeys to shoot six birdies including one at the last to share the lead.
While English duo Davies and Johnson are both life members of the Ladies European Tour with 101 victories between them, Alonso has a limited playing status and is still searching for her first win. She was offered an invitation to play in Turkey from the event promoter a fortnight ago.
“I’m really happy to be the leader and to be in the tournament, so nothing to say, no complaints!” said Alonso, who has been playing on the LET Access Series.
Fellow Spaniard Ciganda recovered from a double at the 12th and two bogeys with three birdies to stay in touch.
“I’m still there in the mix. I had a good day of playing golf and from tee to green it was really good but then I had a few holes where I didn’t hit the ball that well and that was on the par fives. I made a few mistakes on those, a double and two bogeys, so that was a bit hard,” she said.
English trio Eleanor Givens, Florentyna Parker and Holly Clyburn are a shot further back alongside Caroline Afonso in joint fifth position at one under, with England’s Charley Hull in outright ninth place on level par.
|Carmen Alonso of Spain holds a share of the halfway lead|