(Gold Coast, Australia, February 21 2003) Torrential overnight rain delayed the start of the second round of the ANZ Ladies Masters by two hours and twenty minutes on Queensland’s normally sun-kissed Gold Coast and posting the clubhouse lead after 36 holes on seven under par were Scotland’s Janice Moodie and the little known New Zealander Brenda Ormsby.
Moodie carded a faultless three under par 69 in the soggy conditions, while Ormsby rattled off a joint best of the day six under 66.
But pre-tournament favourite Karrie Webb from Australia keep alive her chances of a fifth victory here in six years as she takes the overall lead on ten under par, six under for the day after 16 holes of her second round at Royal Pines GC’s East course.
Two shots back on eight under are Australian rookie Rebecca Stevenson, who was four under through 17 holes and first round leader Patricia Meunier Lebouc who negotiated 13 holes in two under par before darkness fell and play was suspended at 6.22pm.
England’s Laura Davies is still in touch for her third ANZ Masters victory, also at eight under total after 15 holes, three under for her second round.
And two shots further back is Davies’ compatriot Johanna Head, who impressed with a scintillating 66 of her own to share seventh spot with French rookie Gwladys Nocera, who had 67 and Mexican Lorena Ochoa, who was three under after 15 holes.
With most of the course flooded at first light, play commenced at 9am and Ormsby, a Ladies European Tour rookie and the eldest player in the field at 44-years-old, had the perfect start. The former New Zealand Amateur Champion posted four birdies on her front nine and came home in two under for the lowest round of her three month professional career.
“It was a good score, but I didn’t hit the ball that well and I had no idea where my drives were going,” admitted Ormsby, who confessed she never previously considered turning professional as she had to raise her 14-year-old son Arran.
“I’ve never had the opportunity before, I had to support my son and I’m just out here for the fun.”
The Kiwi is undecided about playing on the European Tour, having just been offered the professional’s job at Rotorua GC in New Zealand. But if she continues the way she is playing, Ormsby could earn the biggest cheque of her life.
“I’ve been away from home for the last four weeks and I keep using my credit card and wondering when it’s going to decline!” she quipped.
“I’ve been looking at how much last place would earn and I would double my earnings in one go. I may try to play three or four events in Europe, the golf’s great, that’s the best part, but the hotels, travelling and having to watch the pennies doesn’t appeal to me too much.”
Moodie, ranked number 24 in the Golf Weekly Women’s World rankings is entirely at the opposite end of the earnings scale and admitted to lacking a bit of consistency to prove she is a regular top five player. But the comely Scot is contending for the title among one of the best fields compiled and is proving her class.
“I drove the ball well today and I putted well again,” said the Glaswegian, who was awake at 4.45am to prepare for her round, only to find out the start was delayed.
“I feel as if am a top five player and I’m regularly in the top ten and all I think I need is a little more consistency.
“I had about ten slices of toast this morning at the clubhouse,” she giggled. “I couldn’t do anything but hang around like everyone else and when we got out there, it was really wet and there were a couple of places where I wasn’t sure where to drop the ball to get full relief from casual water.”
Head, who finished 21st in this event last year was aiming to improve on that and her 66 was an impressive effort considering the swamp-like conditions. Seven birdies and a solitary bogey elevated her into contention for her maiden European Tour victory.
“I played brilliantly,” said Head, who qualified for her full LPGA card last season. “I just kept hitting it straight at the flag. I lipped out once and hit it to about three feet, five times. It was good.”
The projected cut was even par with 68 professionals at the mark or better. If it remains at level par, the cut will be the lowest ever in the history of the Ladies European Tour.
Sixteen groups were yet to complete round two and will begin play Saturday morning at 6.40am.