Valentine Derrey from Saint-Cloud

Valentine Derrey of France fired a second successive round of 68 to take a one stroke lead halfway through the Helsingborg Open.

The 26-year-old from Paris had eight birdies and four bogeys in a sunny but breezy second round at Vasatorp Golf Club.

At eight-under in total, she finished the day with a narrow lead over first-round leader I.K. Kim of South Korea and South African LET order of merit leader Lee-Anne Pace.

Derrey moved to Biarritz on the south western coast of France in January and coped better than most in the extremely windy conditions.

“I think I stayed calm and patient and that’s what I’ve been struggling with. I made eight birdies and a couple of bogeys, stayed calm, focused on myself and tried to play my best,” she said.  

The third year LET member will be looking to improve on her career best tie for 6th in Morocco last year, in this, her first season of playing a full calendar on the Ladies European Tour.

A former student at Texas Christian University, she played on the US Symetra Tour for two years and said: “I wanted to see what I was capable of in Europe.”

This is her first time leading a tournament against an extremely strong international field of competitors.

I.K. Kim

Kim, the world No.10, was pleased with her 72 given the conditions. “It was a very tough day and very windy, it was tough even putting,” said the San-Diego based 25-year-old. “I think it was difficult, a totally different golf course to yesterday. It was two to three club wind and really gusting. I’m really pleased with how I played; I didn’t make any putts, but I think I’ve done well.”

Lee-Anne Pace

Pace, who has already won twice this year, both times in hot and sunny weather in Turkey and Spain, is in the hunt for an eighth LET title after a fine second-round 68.

“I didn’t play great in Scotland so I saw my coach a couple of days ago and figured a couple of things out. I was moving off the ball a little and you can’t do that in the wind. It wasn’t carrying very far and he sorted me out,” said the 32-year-old from Mossel Bay.

“I was just looking to get on the leader board and I’ve reached my goal and hopefully I’ll have a good weekend.”

LET rookie Camilla Lennarth was the best of the Swedish players in sole fourth place on six-under-par after a 70, closely followed by compatriots Caroline Hedwall and Pernilla Lindberg in a share of fifth.

Hedwall, the first woman to win five out of five matches during Europe’s Solheim Cup victory in Colorado last month, shot 70 against Lindberg’s 73.

“I’m happy with the score as it was tough with the wind,” said Hedwall. “Even in the woods it was out there and if you hit it high enough it will get caught in the wind.

“My score feels like a four or five under in the conditions of yesterday. I gained a little on the leaders so it was nice. At some points I got a little mad but for most parts I was happy so I enjoyed it out there.”

Australian Rebecca Artis and Denmark’s Malene Jorgensen ended the day a stroke further back in a share of seventh, with Swedish Solheim Cup star Anna Nordqvist in a three-way share of ninth, five shots off the lead on three-under-par.