Virginie Lagoutte-Clement from France took a five shot lead into the weekend at the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi near Munich after firing a course record equalling nine under par 63 late on Friday.
The 32-year-old from Montélimar lit up Golfpark Gut Häusern with a front nine total of seven under par 29, tying the Ladies European Tour’s all-time record for nine holes.
She first carded two birdies on the back nine, at the 10th and 17th holes and then, after sitting out a two-hour weather delay due to lightning in the area, cooked up her own storm with five birdies and an eagle two on the front.
After the forced break, she returned to the fairway at the seventh, which is an uphill dogleg left, and promptly holed her second shot from 88 metres using a 56 degree wedge.
She then sank a four metre putt on the short eighth hole and finished with a par on the last to complete her career best round and finish on a 15 under par halfway total, one shot shy of the LET’s all-time record.
Her nearest challengers were Becky Morgan, Minea Blomqvist and Diana Luna, all at 10 under par.
“I’m very tired,” said an exhausted but elated Lagoutte-Clement as she stepped out of recording at approximately 8pm.
“I played very good and my putting was great. I had only 23 putts. I made an eagle after the storm and put a shot in from 88 metres so it was magic. Tomorrow I will do the same as yesterday and try to play my best.”
Finland’s Blomqvist, a two-time tournament winner on the LET, welcomed the break as she wasn’t striking the ball that well, but she still managed a round of 67.
The 2008 Finnair Masters champion said: “Today it was a little bit up and down. I shouldn’t be nervous on Friday but my mind was a little bit off on some holes, but I made some putts. I haven’t played that well lately so you get a bit of tension.”
Italian Luna also shot 67 and said: “It was a good day. I played very well and very solid. I had unfortunately a three-putt at the fifth hole for a par, which should have been an easy birdie. The wind came after the storm and that made a difference.”
Wales’ Morgan shot 69 in the morning before the interruption and said: “I got off to a bit of a shaky start; missed a really short putt on the first for par. I started playing well. I hit 16 greens today but didn’t hit as many putts. I gave myself more chances yesterday, but coming home, birdied 16 and 17 and could have birdied 18.”
England’s Laura Davies, the 2010 event champion, finished at eight under par after a round of 67 and remained bogey-free after two rounds. She shared fifth with South African Lee-Anne Pace, who had a 68. Davies said that the leader would be tough to catch.
“Lagoutte-Clement has gone mad and shot 15 under so I’m going to be a long way behind now. It will be a really hard weekend but on the other hand, I’m tied for about fifth or sixth, so not a bad two days.
“She’s obviously played magnificent for two rounds and if she keeps it up, she’ll win, quite clearly.
“Sometimes it’s hard to back up a 63 so, for all the rest of us that are on eight under, ten under, nine under, we have to hope that she shoots level par tomorrow, because if she shoots another four or five under I think we’re in serious trouble.”