|Catriona Matthew during her second round at Archerfield Links|
A superb course-record seven under par 65 saw Catriona Matthew take a four shot lead after the second round of the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland on Friday.
Archerfield Links Honorary Member Matthew was at nine under par overall thanks to a flawless round with seven birdies on the Fidra championship course.
The 41-year-old former Women’s British Open champion started on the back nine and turned in three under before adding four further birdies at the second third, sixth and ninth holes, rolling in a majestic 30-footer at her last in front of a vociferous home gallery.
Matthew said: “I’m pleased with how I played. I putted well today. I holed some good putts, which just makes all the difference from a two under to a really good round. Obviously being a member here and just being along the road: it would be a great win. I think there’s always a little more pressure when you’re home. You always want to do well.”
Matthew, ranked 36th in the world, is staying at home this week in North Berwick, just four miles away from the course and she said it felt unusual having spent the last 17 years travelling the globe for golf tournaments.
“It’s nice to be at home in your own bed. That always helps. It feels a bit strange playing in a golf tournament when you’re staying at home.”
The added bonus is that her two young daughters, Katie and Sophie, can enjoy the delights of a British summer. “They are having a picnic somewhere, much better fun. I don’t think they’ll have any idea to be honest. They’d rather go for an ice-cream or something,” she said.
Matthew finished tied for sixth at the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle a fortnight ago and will be playing for her seventh career title in the final round on Saturday.
Hannah Jun of the United States, who led by three after the first round, carded a 73 to end the day five under in second.
The 26-year-old is yet to win in two years on the Ladies European Tour and she said: “I didn’t hit the ball as good today. The front nine was a little windy and the course just played completely different today than it did yesterday. I think the wind was opposite so some of the tough holes were even tougher and when it’s blowing more than five miles an hour obviously the downwind shots are hard as well. I had a hard time adjusting at the front but it wasn’t too bad.”
Caroline Afonso of France (71) ended the day two strokes back in a share of third at three under with South African Ashleigh Simon (72), while French defending champion Virginie Lagoutte-Clement was in a share of 49th at eight over par.