Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck fired a second consecutive 68 to lead by three at the halfway stage of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Sitges, near Barcelona.
The 24-year-old from Langen quickly built a sizeable lead with four birdies in her first 12 holes but made a solitary bogey on the par-4 14th at Terramar Golf Club.
The second year tour player has posted four top 10 finishes this season – including in her last two Ladies European Tour events – but is yet to earn a breakthrough victory.
Speaking after her round, she said: “I don’t think the two days could have been any more different. Yesterday, I warmed up, had a shank on the range and then had one of the best ball-striking rounds I’ve had this year. Today, I striped it on the range but had to work a bit more on the course. I had 35 putts yesterday and 27 putts today, so it was a bit different, but I’m quite happy.
“I’ve had a pretty good season so far, but I haven’t really put myself in contention. I can’t wait to be in the leading group tomorrow, because that’s what we were talking about two weeks ago. We all work hard to feel the nerves and adrenaline. That’s what we all work for, so I’m very excited.”
Three other players yet to win on tour are a stroke back in a tie for second: Sweden’s Filippa Moork, Germany’s Olivia Cowan and Finland’s Noora Komulainen.
Moork started at the eighth and carded three birdies in four holes in the middle of her round for a 68. Her best finish so far in her rookie year on the Ladies European Tour has been a tie for 12th in the Jabra Ladies Open and she said: “I’m feeling more confident with every round I play out here, so this could be my tournament.”
Komulainen also signed for a bogey-free 68, while Cowan managed two birdies and a bogey in a 69.
The experienced Spanish duo Carlota Ciganda and Beatriz Recari are tied for fifth with Sweden’s Emma Nilsson, four shots from the lead.
World number 12 Ciganda, a Solheim Cup winner at Gleneagles a fortnight ago, overcame two early bogeys with five birdies in a 68.
She said: “I had a hesitant start, but from there I played much better than yesterday, with five birdies and that gives me confidence for what is coming.”
Recari, a member of the victorious 2013 European Solheim Cup team, had a second successive 70. She hasn’t played since June due to illness but said she feels that she has won already. “I continue step by step, without expectations, because I haven’t played in three months and that is a long time for me. I don’t press and the results are coming, so I don’t even think about tomorrow.”
The shot of the day belonged to Australian Whitney Hillier, who made a hole-in-one at the par-3 17th hole. She signed for a 66 and finished the day in a share of eighth place.
Whitney said: “I hit a really solid 5-iron. It looked good all the way but I couldn’t see it. I had to wait until the cameraman put his hand up and then I could celebrate.”
She has Premier League referee Mike Dean on the bag for the first time this week and added: “We are really good friends and he asked if I wanted a caddie for the week and I said, ‘Why not?’ He’s a great guy and we’ve had a lot of fun.”