Saturday 5th June 2010: England’s Florentyna Parker takes a two shot lead into the final round of the ABN AMRO Ladies Open in the Netherlands after shooting a career best six under par 66 in the second round.
The 20-year-old, who was born in Germany to English parents, shot into the lead at seven under par with six birdies in the blazing sunshine at Golfclub Broekpolder in Rotterdam.
The second year tour player played the back nine in four under 32 and then picked up a further two birdies coming home to finish two clear of compatriot Laura Davies and 2005 champion Virginie Lagoutte-Clement of France.
Parker, who is a member of Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Lancashire, said that the secret was hitting the ball straight on the tricky tree-lined course.
“I played very consistent: I hit the fairways, hit the greens and made important putts. I played really solid,” she said. “Yesterday after my first few holes I thought ‘I’m not going to get through the round’, I played so badly; but I recovered well and the last six holes yesterday I shot three under and I continued with that today.”
The Hamburg born player is ideally placed to earn her first victory as a professional, leading a Ladies European Tour event for the first time.
Last year, as a rookie, her best finish was a tie for second at the AIB Ladies Irish Open and this year she tied for 6th at both the Lalla Meryem Cup and the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. Despite her tender years, Parker has years of experience as an amateur, having first played on the LET aged 13 as a member of the Faldo Series.
“I played two events when I was 13 – Portugal and Ireland – and those were my best finishes last year on Tour so it was quite funny,” said Parker, who turns 21 later this month.
Parker is from a golfing family. Her father, Tim Parker, is her coach and her brother, Ben Parker is a professional tour player. Her mother, Gina, is a non-golfer but caddies regularly while this week it is her cousin Ella’s turn.
“I never have good golfers on my bag and I think it works. I’m calm and relaxed and we talk a lot between shots. I think that’s the best way and when it’s my time to play I concentrate on that shot,” Parker said, adding that Ella will receive a large bonus if she wins the €37,500 first prize.
Davies admitted her score would have been better if she had continued the way the started the round – with four birdies over the first six holes. She took two bogeys on the back nine, but was satisfied nonetheless.
She said: “I played very well but on the back nine I didn’t get it close enough to take advantage. I had a bogey on 17 and was back to five and I three putted the last, which was a shame. I played pretty solid overall, hit a lot of fairways and greens and drove it nicely.”
Another Englishwoman, Rebecca Hudson (69) shared fourth place with Italian Sophie Sandolo (71) on four under par. Scotland’s Krystle Caithness (70) and England’s Trish Johnson (71) were a shot back at three under.
Australian Karen Lunn aced the 198-yard par-three ninth hole, which was the fourth hole in one on Tour this year.
The eight-time Ladies European Tour winner earned a spectacular Omega Constellation watch, worth approximately €6,000 and said: “It was a perfect yardage for a six iron. I hit a really nice shot, a little draw, it landed a touch right of the pin, took a perfect bounce and I didn’t actually see it go in the hole because the pin was in the shade but obviously the reaction of the gallery told us it went in, so it was exciting.”
Lunn shot a second round of four under 68 and moved to two under par for the tournament, in a tie for eighth with seven other players: Melodie Bourdy (72), Camille Fallay (72), Lydia Hall (71), Linda Wessberg (68), Malene Jorgensen (67), Lynn Kenny (71) and Ashleigh Simon (70).