Playing under warm, cloudless skies and light wind, defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn fired a bogey-free five-under-par 66 in the second round of the Lalla Meryem Cup on Friday to grab a two stroke lead heading into the weekend at Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir. Jutanugarn sits two clear of 15-year-old French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez, who had a tournament low seven-under 64 and Germany’s Nina Holleder, who fired a second successive round of three-under-par 68.
After a roller coaster opening round of 68 that included 10 birdies, two bogeys, a double and a triple, the 18-year-old from Bangkok rediscovered her form with the driver.
Today Jutanugarn, who’s playing in her third tournament of the year after taking out eight months to heal a shoulder injury, reeled off five birdies at holes four, six, seven, 14 and 16 to reclaim the lead she’d held briefly during the first nine yesterday morning.
Jutanugarn, who missed the cut at the Women’s Australian Open but then finished the World Ladies Championship in a tied fourth place, seems ready to play for the victory in Morocco. She sits two clear of 15-year-old French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez, who had a tournament low seven-under 64 and Germany’s Nina Holleder, who fired a second successive round of three-under-par 68.
Chasing the Lead
“It was an amazing day,” said Cappeliez, who is playing in her second professional tournament following an LET debut at the 2013 Lacoste Ladies Open de France, where she missed the cut.
The 26-year-old Holleder, from St. Leon-Rot, fired four birdies and one bogey. Her hope was to make the cut this week, but she is now in contention for her first win in two seasons on the LET.
I played the last two rounds really solidly and hit 16 greens each day, so it was not too difficult as the putter was good. I had more chances for birdie but I’m happy with it.
Laura Davies, Gwladys Nocera, Sophie Giquel-Bettan and overnight co-leader Sophie Walker were all on five-under-par and each rued a few missed putts, although their long games were excellent.
I’ve hit 17 greens the first day, 17 greens today and the story is not making enough putts, 33 putts both days, but having said that, I’m at five-under-par and in a decent position.
Meanwhile Lee-Anne Pace, Rebecca Hudson and Nobuhle Dlamini are a stroke further behind on four-under-par; and Charley Hull, Trish Johnson and Margherita Rigon, at five-under-par, are still within reach of the lead going into the weekend.