LARVIK, NORWAY (3rd July 2009) — Italian Veronica Zorzi shot a five-under 68 on Friday to take a two stroke lead over Lisa Holm Sorensen heading into the final round of the SAS Ladies Masters.

The two-time French Open winner scored a two-round total of 12-under after a tougher second day at Larvik Golfklubb in Larvik, Norway.

She made short work of the par fives, having eagled one of the seven – the ninth – with three straight birdies on the last three. She had another birdie at the par-four 14th but bogeyed the par-three eighth hole.

Zorzi is 34th on the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List after five events played this year and was thrilled to be in contention for her first title in three years.” I just stayed patient and hit the fairways and greens and made some putts,” Zorzi said. ” The putting was good. I can read the lines pretty well so I am feeling comfortable. You need to have patience because on this course there are so many par fives; you can make birdies if you have one bad hole.”

After a parade of 11 birdies for a dazzling 62 on Friday, Denmark’s Lisa Holm Sorensen signed for a 74 to finish on 10-under in second place. Sorensen played her round in the windiest conditions on Friday afternoon but remained in contention for her second LET title.” It was tough out there today,” said Sorensen.” It was very windy and a big difference from yesterday.” Last week’s AIB Ladies Irish Open winner Diana Luna carded a 70 after an opening 67 and was placed third at nine-under.

” It was very bizarre because I started very badly,” she said.” I started with three bogeys in four holes so I wasn’t playing very well at the beginning. This morning at the range I was quite tired but I think I coped pretty well after that. I fought hard and finished with three birdies. I’m very happy because I stayed calm. I told myself that this is a course where you can have lots of birdies so keep it going and do not stress too much because the back nine is better than the first nine.”

Laura Cabanillas of Spain (68) was fourth on eight under, with seven-players a stroke back in a tie for fifth position.

They included Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord, who stayed in the reckoning after rounds of 70 and 69, French players Sophie Giquel and Cassandra Kirkland along with the English quartet of Rebecca Hudson, Trish Johnson, Melissa Reid and Samantha Head.

Skarpnord said:” It was a good finish with birdies on each of the final three par fives. The course is playing very short but you still have to hit the shots and make the birdies. I feel like minus seven for two rounds should have been better.” However she felt that she could overcome the deficit, adding: ” In golf, everything is possible. The good thing about the last three holes here is that you can go eagle, eagle, eagle and be six-under in three holes so you never know.”

Elsewhere, Finland’s Riikka Hakkarainen had a hole-in-one at the 131-metre third hole using a gentle six-iron. Hers was the 10th hole-in-one on the Ladies European Tour this season and the second of the tournament following Diana Luna’s ace at the par-three 15th hole on Thursday.