Linda Wessberg stormed into the clubhouse lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open on Saturday morning with a second round of 67 in warm and overcast conditions at Dundonald Links in North Ayrshire.
The 35-year-old from Gothenburg birdied the second, third and eighth holes to tie with overnight leader Gwladys Nocera before picking up two more strokes on the 16th and 17th for a seven-under-par total.
She said: “I played really well today and made a few putts. Yesterday I was in a lot of trouble but today I stayed out of it.”
This is Wessberg’s third appearance since the birth of her first child, a daughter called Sigrid, in mid-September. A 15th place finish in Morocco, followed by a tie for fourth in Pilsen has given her high hopes of a return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2009.
Inspired by watching compatriots Alex Noren and Henrik Stenson win the recent Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart and The Open at Troon, the 2007 Solheim Cup player now hopes to become the third Swede to win on Scottish soil this month.
“Henrik is a great inspiration and a very nice person. Taking that kind of form into the final round would be fun,” she said, adding that her local caddie, Ally Berry, and amateur partner James Hourigan also inspired her. Berry, who caddied for the actor Tony Curran last year, won the 2012 Disabled Open while Hourigan, a double amputee, won the Austrian Open a fortnight ago and played in the recent European Championships.
While Wessberg was racing ahead, 17-year-old rookie Angel Yin from the United States was also making progress as the next best of the morning starters ending o five-under-par.
Later in the afternoon, Becky Morgan from Wales edged ahead at eight under with a birdie on her 10th hole. She started with a birdie, then eagled the long 18th before picking up another shot at the first in her bid for a maiden title in 16 years on tour.
Isabelle Boineau, recent Tipsport Golf Masters winner Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Hannah Burke and Nocera were also in the mix while Sally Watson is the leading Scot in the clubhouse on three-under-par.