Rikke Hakkarainen

At the par-three 14th, she struck a magnificent four iron to three feet and holed the putt to move to four under par but a bogey at 15, a birdie at 17 and another bogey at 18, left her at three under par for the tournament.

Taylor, the 2002 Rookie of the Year, leads by two shots over Spanish rookie Tania Elosegui and Finnish player Rikke Hakkarainen, who both sit at one under par after day two at Abama.

Elosegui tacked a 72 onto her opening 71 to remain at one under par after 36 holes while Hakkarainen added a two under par 70 to her opening 73.

Elosegui, 24, from San Sebastian, is playing in her first event on the Ladies European Tour and was tied for the lead with Taylor at three under par after 34 holes until she double bogeyed the par four eighth; her penultimate hole, where she hit her tee shot into the palm trees. She collected birdies at the 11th, 14th and sixth holes, with a bogey at the fifth; but she was pleased to be in contention heading into the weekend.

“I’m very happy as this is my first tournament in Europe,” said the Spaniard, who shares a personal fitness trainer named Jonkarla Lizeaga with Jose Maria Olazabal.

Also starting from the tenth tee, Hakkarainen, 28, from Espoo, carded four birdies and two bogeys and she is well placed to make a move for her first professional tournament victory this weekend.

Sophie Giquel of France and England’s Georgina Simpson are three shots off the lead at level par. Simpson added a one under par 71 to her first round of 73 and Giquel had a two under par 70 after a 74 yesterday.