Ursula Wikstrom produced a second-round 66 (-5) to post the clubhouse lead in the Sberbank Golf Masters at Golf Park Plzn in the Czech Republic.
The 34-year-old from Espoo, who opened with a 66, played in perfect conditions on Saturday morning and made five birdies in her first seven holes.
She started by making a 1.5 metre putt for birdie at the 10th, then rolled in another birdie putt of three metres on the 12th. On the par-3 13th, she holed an impressive curling putt of four metres.
At the par-5 14th, she reached the green in two shots using a driver and 7-iron, before two putting for birdie. She then tapped in for a fifth birdie on 16.
She had to wait another 11 holes before her final birdie on the par-4 9th, where she hit her drive left, then hit her second to the right and then hit her third shot to two metres using a wedge.
This is Wikstrom’s 11th season on the Ladies European Tour and she is desperate to break into the winner’s circle after five second place finishes, from 2005-2012.
“Of course a victory, I’m still looking for that and it’s been a while since I’ve been in a position to fight for it over the weekend so I want to be in this position,” she said.
“Today, no bogeys, so that’s always a nice round. On the back nine I wasn’t making any putts or hitting it as close so it was nice to get one birdie. The good thing is I have my coach as my caddie and I’m starting to hit the ball okay and the putts are falling, so things are going okay so far. I have not used the driver much at all, it’s more hybrids and 3-woods, but the par 5s are pretty easy so you get a lot of chances to make birdies and eagles.”
Fellow morning starter Rebecca Hudson fired a 67 in the benign conditions to end her round at seven-under-par.
Starting from the 10th, she chipped and putted for birdie on the par-5 14th, then holed putts of six and 12 feet respectively for birdie on 17 and 18. She three-putted on the first green for her only bogey but recovered with further birdies on the second and third holes.
“I was very consistent. I kept the ball in play, holed a few nice putts and it was sensible golf,” said Hudson. “I got a new putter a few weeks ago, still a PING B60 which is the same as I had for years and years, and I seem to be putting a lot better, although I did miss a six footer on the last, which was a shame.
“Conditions are lovely and the golf course is fabulous. The greens are running smooth and they are receptive, so our agronomist is doing a fabulous job. It’s a pleasure to be out there.”
England’s Melissa Reid withdrew through injury, as wind speeds were picking up for the later starters. Those in the hunt included Nikki Garrett, Julie Greciet, Amy Boulden, Pamela Pretswell, Heather Macrae and Isabelle Boineau, all within four strokes of the clubhouse lead.