Dewi Claire Schreefel from the Netherlands fired a second round of two-under-par 70 at Vasatorps Golfklubb in Sweden on Friday to lead midway through the Helsingborg Open.
At seven-under-par, the 28-year-old from Alkmaar was two strokes ahead of Scotland’s Kylie Walker (68) and Australians Whitney Hillier (72) and Rebecca Artis (70), the defending champion.
After a warm and breezy afternoon, a large chasing pack were on four-under-par: Danes Nicole Broch Larsen (67), Line Vedel (70), Swedes Louise Friberg (71) and Caroline Hedwall (70), Austrian Christine Wolf (70), Valentine Derrey from France (71) and Marianne Skarpnord of Norway (71).
Schreefel started her second round on the back nine and picked up a pair of birdies on holes 15 and 18 but made a double bogey on the par-four fifth hole, before recovering with two more birdies on the sixth and seventh holes. She said: “I played solid again today and just had a little hiccup on five where I had a double, but I’m playing good. I’m hitting the ball solid and seeing my lines, so I’m happy.
“On five, I was in the middle of the fairway but it’s a tough hole today because the pin position is all the way in the back and I think you have five paces left and five paces right. I just hit a good shot a touch too far and had a difficult chip down the hill and left it in the rough. I putted it through and another two putts so that’s a six. The birdies were pretty close and I had a lot of chances today. I could have been more under par but missed a few. I’m happy with four birdies and to be going into the weekend like this.”
Playing in the same group, Hillier made a solid start with a birdie on 15 and bogeyed 17 to go out in 36. She then bogeyed the first, birdied the second and third and finished with a bogey on nine for another half of level par. Hillier said: “I had three birdies and three bogeys so it was pretty solid, really. I would have liked to have done better but it was tough out there and the greens are a lot quicker today so I’ll keep on going. It was nice and calm this morning but the greens are quick which makes it difficult.”
Fellow Australian Artis was displeased with her putting, despite carding four birdies and two bogeys. She said: “I hit the ball great today but the putter ran very cold on me. I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I knocked it in to under three metres a lot. I felt like I was starting them on good lines but maybe the pace was a little out but I stayed patient because I felt like I was hitting good putts and just couldn’t get anything to drop. I stayed patient and grinded it out and finished two under for the day so I’m not too disappointed with that.”
Walker, with two play-off wins on tour this summer in Holland and Germany, had a bogey-free round with birdies on holes three, seven, 11 and 18. She said: “My game is good and I’m really enjoying it and the course is great this week so I’m having a great time. The conditions were maybe slightly tougher today and I hit the ball a lot better. Yesterday was a little scrappy so I’m a lot happier with my game today and I had a good group with Camilla as well, so it was really fun. Last week was a good experience and coming into this week, it was crazy wind here last year so I’m feeling well prepared for whatever comes my way.”
Derrey, a first-time winner on the LET in Turkey in May, made a slow start with a pair of bogeys and a double in her first six holes, but she blitzed the course with six birdies in the next ten only to drop a stroke on the last hole.
She said: “I started pretty bad. I was four over after six and then made a chip on seven, birdie on eight, nine I made a goof putt. Ten, I made another good putt so I was back in it and just tried to play hole after hole.”
This is a special tournament for the Swedes, but especially local players Friberg and Hedwall, who are both from Helsingborg. Friberg, who played full time in Europe in 2006-2007, is making her comeback season in the United States after taking two years out from tournament golf. After coaching full time, in Gothenburg and Phoenix, she rediscovered her appetite for competition and said: “Last summer, I started feeling that I was enjoying playing and holding a golf club. I had a couple of rounds and especially one of the rounds. I told my boyfriend, ‘This is a waste of good golf. I am playing too good not to give it another go.’”
|Louise Friberg giving back to the young Swedish team|
After a stunning first round of 69, Dame Laura Davies carded a second round of 76 to end the day at one over par. Of the other high profile players in the field, last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open winner Trish Johnson and England’s Solheim Cup star Charley Hull ended on six and eight over par respectively and missed the halfway cut, but they will be back in action at next week’s Evian Championship, where the winner of the Helsingborg Open will receive the last place in the field.
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