Olivia Cowan took control on day two of the Investec South African Women’s Open, firing a 68 to lead on seven-under-par heading into the final round at Westlake Golf Club, in Cape Town.

Playing in hot and sunny afternoon conditions, the 23-year-old from Germany started at the 10th and picked up her first birdie at the long 13th. She then made three successive birdies from the 15th to the 17th.

Although she dropped a shot on the par-four second hole, she made further gains at the fourth and fifth holes, before closing with a bogey on the ninth.

Cowan, a three-time winner on the 2015 LET Access Series, who won the Order of Merit the same year, is long overdue for a first LET victory. In 2019, her third year on the LET, she recorded a career best tie for second in the Dubai Moonlight Classic, which was one of seven top-10 finishes from 16 starts last season and she ended seventh on the LET Order of Merit for the second year in a row.

She has started the 2020 LET season with tie for 68th in the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville and a tie for 15th in the Women’s New South Wales Open and began the week ranked 28th on the Order of Merit.

After her second round, she said: “I was hitting my irons close and putting well, so I had a lot of chances, which I took. I’d say the best part of my game was my putting.

“The last couple of years here have been windy, so it is very different this year. The course is in great shape and it’s like any other LPGA or LET tournament, so really good.

“This is my first time being in this position, where I am two shots ahead of everyone going into the final round. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what happens.”

Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald, England’s Alice Hewson and Italian Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso are three strokes back in joint second.

MacDonald, who had a second successive 70, said: “I’m very happy with my performance today. I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances. I’m very happy going into tomorrow with how I played today.

“The greens were a little slower in the morning but when it started to heat up you could notice the difference. That was something I had to be mindful of during the round.”

Hewson, , who is playing in her first LET tournament as a rookie member, carded back-to-back 70s and said: “I’m really happy with how I played today. I putted really well, which I think is really important out here and I drove the ball well. I just need to work on my irons. It was nice to get off to a good start with three birdies in a row from my second hole.

“It’s very exciting to be here and finally get going. This is living the dream, really. It’s a beautiful place to be. Yesterday we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins and maybe tomorrow we will go to Table Mountain.”

Colombotto Rosso, who dug deep for a 71, said: “I enjoyed it a lot because I made some incredible putts, from 10 or 15 metres, which I didn’t expect. I’m having fun and taking the best from it. Chipping in this grass is a bit challenging for me. I’m really proud that I made some birdies that I needed to. I was a bit angry with the bogey on my 16th, so it was good to birdie my 18th. It was a good reaction.”

The final round gets under way tomorrow morning, with the last putt expected to take place at 3.30pm. The champion will receive a two year exemption to the LET until the end of 2021, a place in the Evian Championship and the lion’s share of the €200,000 prize fund.

 

Second round scores:

137 – Olivia Cowan (GER) 69 68

140 – Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso (ITA) 69 71, Kelsey Macdonald (SCO) 70 70, Alice Hewson (ENG) 70 70

141 – Emma Nilsson (SWE) 69 72, Monique Smit 70 71

142 – Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (ISL) 72 70, Meghan MacLaren (ENG) 73 69

143 – Maha Haddioui (MAR) 72 71, Manon De Roey (BEL) 75 68, Emily Pedersen (DEN) 73 70, Julia Engstrom (SWE) 71 72, Ashleigh Buhai 70 73

144 – Maria Hernandez (ESP) 73 71, Jane Turner (SCO) 74 70, Agathe Sauzon (FRA) 72 72, Mireia Prat (ESP) 71 73, Manon Gidali (FRA) 72 72, Lee-Anne Pace 71 73

145 – Rachel Rossel (SUI) 70 75, Hannah McCook (SCO) 73 72, Eun-Jung Ji (ESP) 73 72, Laura Fuenfstueck (GER) 70 75

146 – Patricia Sanz Barrio (ESP) 73 73, Johanna Gustavsson (SWE) 73 73, Tiia Koivisto (FIN) 72 74, Sian Evans (ENG) 73 73, Anna Magnusson (SWE) 75 71, Annelie Sjoholm (SWE) 73 73

147 – Camille Chevalier (FRA) 72 75, Karoline Lund (NOR) 77 70, Lina Boqvist (SWE) 72 75, Laura Gomez Ruiz (ESP) 77 70, Sarah Schober (AUT) 73 74, Lejan Lewthwaite 73 74, Mimmi Bergman (SWE) 72 75

148 – Casandra Hall 72 76, Charlotte Thompson (ENG) 75 73, Leonie Harm (GER) 74 74, Tvesa Malik (IND) 73 75, Morgane Metraux (SUI) 73 75, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 76 72

149 – Maria Beautell (ESP) 73 76, Kim Williams 73 76, Carmen Alonso (ESP) 75 74, Valentine Derrey (FRA) 75 74, Georgina Blackman (ENG) 78 71, Michele Thomson (SCO) 72 77, Sideri Vanova (CZE) 72 77, Alison Muirhead (SCO) 76 73, Christina Gloor (SUI) 74 75, Kaiyuree Moodley AMA 74 75, Astrid Vayson De Pradenne (FRA) 76 73, Stacy Bregman 74 75, Karolin Lampert (GER) 78 71, Nicole Garcia 69 80, Carolin Kauffmann (GER) 73 76

150 – Magdalena Simmermacher (ARG) 71 79, Caroline Rominger (SUI) 78 72, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 74 76, Elia Folch (ESP) 76 74, Maiken Bing Paulsen (NOR) 73 77, Chloe Williams (WAL) 76 74, Cara Gorlei 75 75, Hayley Davis (ENG) 78 72, Ivanna Samu 78 72, Sarina Schmidt (GER) 74 76, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 75 75, Leticia Ras-Anderica (GER) 73 77, Inci Mehmet (ENG) 75 75, Isabelle Boineau (FRA) 72 78

Missed the cut:-

151 – Rachael Goodall (ENG) 76 75, Eleanor Givens (ENG) 76 75, Cloe Frankish (ENG) 74 77, Kaylah Williams AMA 75 76, Tara Griebenow 80 71, Megan Streicher AMA 78 73, Isabella Deilert (SWE) 76 75, Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir (ISL) 80 71

152 – Gabrielle Macdonald (SCO) 76 76, Florentyna Parker (ENG) 73 79, Marta Martin (ESP) 80 72, Noemi Jimenez Martin (ESP) 75 77, Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 77 75, Pasqualle Coffa (NED) 70 82, Emilie Borggen (SWE) 78 74, Linette Holmslykke (DEN) 74 78, Sophie Keech (ENG) 76 76, Madelene Stavnar (NOR) 71 81, Jessica Dreesbeimdieke (NAM) 74 78

153 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 74 79, Tandi McCallum 80 73, Dulcie Sverdloff (ENG) 76 77, Rachel Drummond (ENG) 77 76, Filippa Moork (SWE) 76 77, Rosie Davies (ENG) 75 78, Elina Nummenpaa (FIN) 74 79

154 – Emie Peronnin (FRA) 81 73, Carly Booth (SCO) 76 78, Sanna Nuutinen (FIN) 76 78, Line Toft Hansen (DEN) 77 77

155 – Laura Murray (SCO) 80 75, Jenny Haglund (SWE) 79 76, Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 80 75, Justine Dreher (FRA) 75 80, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 77 78, Franziska Friedrich (GER) 80 75

156 – Lauren Taylor (ENG) 81 75, Yolanda Duma 77 79, Gabriella Cowley (ENG) 76 80, Karina Kukkonen (FIN) 77 79, Emilie Piquot (FRA) 80 76, Kim Metraux (SUI) 76 80, Diksha Dagar (IND) 75 81

157 – Stina Resen (NOR) 76 81, Michaela Fletcher 76 81

159 – Zethu Myeki 79 80, Lindi Coetzee 84 75, Emma Grechi (FRA) 80 79

160 – Kyle Roig (PUR) 76 84, My Leander (SWE) 75 85, Sharmila Nicollet (IND) 76 84

161 – Marion Duvernay (FRA) 84 77, Shawnelle de Lange 78 83, Clara Pietri (SUI) 77 84

162 – Kelsey Nicholas 82 80

163 – Bobbi Brown AMA 79 84

164 – Georgia Oboh (NGA) 79 85

165 – Brittney-Fay Berger 78 87

167 – Bianca Wernich AMA 81 86

172 – Siviwe Duma 87 85, Lara Weinstein 87 85