Holly Clyburn holds lead after two rounds of Australian Ladies Classic


Overnight leader Holly Clyburn will take a two-shot lead into the third round of the inaugural Australian Ladies Classic at Coffs Harbour.

The 27-year-old Briton on Friday continued the form that produced a course record-breaking opening round at the Bonville Resort.

Early in the day it seemed she would break the record again, with an inward 32, featuring birdies at 5, 7 and 9, followed by another at 10. But just as quickly she gave them back. Bogies at 11, 12 and the par-five 15th brought some sobriety to what beckoned to be another milestone round.

Later she steadied with two closing birdies to finish at -8 heading into the weekend. “Today’s round was a game of two halves,” she said. “I played fantastic on the front nine and it could’ve been a lot better. Then I had an awkward yardage on 11 that made the round go upside down a bit.

“I took a three-putt there but other than that I ground it out. I played some really nice golf coming in.”

The main contender is French youngster Celine Boutier who carded the day’s equal best four under to be at -6 and poised to make a run. The 24-year-old has struggled since arriving in Australia but knows how to win.

Three months ago she claimed the Sanya Open in China and with full playing rights guaranteed this year, is playing with the freedom of youth.

Germany’s Olivia Cowan, 21, matched the day’s best of four-under but lamented missed opportunities while Finnish compatriots Ursula Wikstrom and Noora Komulainen backed up identical opening 74s to shoot three-under 69s.

Of the Australians, Hannah Green stormed up the leaderboard with a round that included six birdies and four bogeys but did struggle to find the lines with her putter and with a cold she caught overnight.

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