Rolex Ranked No. 3 Stacy Lewis did what she does best at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters today. The winner of the 2013 LPGA Vare Trophy showed her stuff when she fired a superb 2nd round of seven-under 65 to break free of a crowded leader board going into the penultimate round tomorrow.
The 24-year-old Texan mixed her eight birdies, four in each half, with a lone bogey on the par-3, 15th to reach nine-under, one ahead of Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg and two clear of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda with Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum occupying solo fourth on six-under after a second round 70.
A good three shots off the pace overnight, Lewis made a confident start, picking up back-to-back birdies on the second and third and kept momentum rolling all the way through. The highlight of her charge up the leader board was four birdies in five holes from the ninth.
A three-putt bogey on the par-3, 15th stymied Lewis’s bid to match the tournament record of a 63 posted by Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands last year, but then she rolled in a 40 foot putt for birdie on 17 in near darkness, which she rated as the putt of the day.
Lewis said: “The putts went in today. I made a little adjustment on the practice green and it seemed to work. I made a couple of long ones that I probably shouldn’t have made and it turned out to be a good day.
“On the longer putts the grip handle was stopping instead of keeping going so I changed that. I think I had 10 or 12 fewer putts and that made the difference. I think I had 24 putts today instead of 33.
“It played a lot shorter from the tee and most of the greens I could reach in two. The greens were firmer but I had shorter clubs.
“I’m going to have to keep going and take care of business but I prefer being where I am now to where I was last night.”
Charley Hull, leading contender for the 2013 LET Rookie of the Year award, shot even par today and has dropped down the board from 6th to a share of 9th place. Now 7 shots off the lead, Hull’s going to need to play that game she showed at the Solheim Cup if she has a hope of winning the event.
Defending champ, China’s Shanshan Feng, had a much better round today. She went to the clubhouse with 67, 2 strokes behind Lewis. But Feng’s opening round of 76 is going to have a lingering effect on her overall standing. Although she started in 71st place and ended today sharing 12th place, Feng is facing an 8 shot deficit going into the 3rd round tomorrow.
Due to bad light, round two play was suspended at approximately 5:45pm local time and two groups, containing six players, will return to complete their second rounds at 8am on Friday.
The third round will begin at 10.40am and will be played from two tees in a U-draw format. The draw for round three will be published once round two has been completed.