England’s Lisa Hall fired her best round in two years as she set the clubhouse target in the second round at the Open de España Femenino.
A round of six-under-par 65 saw the Stoke-on-Trent 42-year-old reach nine-under-par on a scorching day at Flamingos Golf in Benahavís on the Costa del Sol.
She birdied the 14th for a back nine total of one-under-par 35 before picking up five shots over the front nine with birdies at the first, eighth and ninth and an eagle at the sixth hole.
“It was a great finish from eagling six, which was our 15th hole and then a couple of birdies on the last two holes, so it was nice,” said the four-time LET tournament champion, who claimed her last victory at the 2008 ANZ Ladies Masters in Australia.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve done that and so I just enjoy that. I knew I was swinging well so that breeds confidence. Once you’ve been there you know what you’re doing, so we’ll see.”
Hall finished ninth on the LET’s Henderson Money List in 2008 with three top-ten finishes and a victory, but had struggled to find the same form until last week’s Open de France, where she tied for 10th after shooting successive rounds of 68 over the weekend.
She said that a word of advice from her husband and coach Martin Hall may have helped. “I’ve gradually started playing better since July, in Ireland, Wales, and in Scotland, I started to hit some better shots and play better,” she said. “Then last week my husband was there so he helped me with a couple of things with my swing and I hit the ball as well as I’ve ever hit it on the weekend last week.
“After all these years I think I’m stuck with what I have so it’s a question of knowing the shots that I can hit and not trying to hit shots that I know I can’t hit. There were a couple of, not technical, but ‘feels’ that changed how I hit the ball a little bit.”
Hall claimed her maiden title at the 1996 Welsh Open and finished in the top-10 at three of the four majors in 1997, when she was the LPGA Rookie of the Year.
She had a dramatic return to form 10 years later when she won the Northern Ireland Ladies Open and Nykredit Masters in 2007 and then continued her run at the ANZ Ladies Masters the following year.
Currently ranked 65th on the Ladies European Tour after 11 tournaments in 2010, she said that she didn’t know why she had struggled.
“It’s just the game of golf,” she said. “Sometimes the things that seem easy become difficult and sometimes when you’re in that cycle it can be a struggle, but I think because of that I enjoy the good golf that I play and enjoy hitting the good shots that I hit.”
Hall finished two strokes ahead of Italian Giulia Sergas after the morning session, with the first round leaders all playing in the afternoon.