16 Jul 2022 | Professional golf |
Hillier seizes LET lead
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
West Australian Whitney Hillier has birdied her final three holes to establish a one-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Ladies European Tour’s Big Green Egg Open in The Netherlands.
Seeking to follow Stephanie Kyriacou as successive Aussie winners and record her first LET title, Hillier delivered a second straight round of four-under 68, highlighted by her hot finish to be one clear of Austrian Sarah Schober at Rosendaelsche Golf Club.
It appeared as though Hillier would hold an even greater advantage late on day two until Schober eagled the par-5 eighth – her penultimate hole – to narrow the gap to just one.
The 31-year-old produced her most consistent season on tour last year and has carried that confidence into 2022, second at the Jabra Ladies Open and top five in three further events this year.
She won the team element of the Aramco Team Series – Bangkok and was delighted to finish off Round 2 in such a strong fashion.
“I had a pretty good day today, I was patient more than anything,” Hillier explained.
“I had a couple of testing putts and a couple bogeys in between, but to finish off with three birdies was a good, strong finish.
“This course is tight in some places so you have to be patient and pick small targets, so that’s what I’m trying to do.” Things started well on day two for the Australian ace, with birdies on holes three and four seeing her set the early pace, while a dropped shot on the fifth was swiftly forgotten with a birdie on eight.
And it looked as if another bogey on 14 was going to leave her among the leading pack heading into the weekend, before her final flurry saw her pull clear.
“I’m happy and I’m rolling with it. “I’ve been working hard and that seems to be coming off now.
“There’s plenty more golf to go, I won’t be changing anything heading into the weekend.
“I’ve got George on the bag so he’ll keep me laughing and keep me happy.
“We’ll just take one shot at a time and whatever happens, happens.” As Hillier chases her first win on a major tour 47-year-old Karrie Webb is in the mix for LPGA Tour win No.42 in Michigan.
Paired with American Marina Alex at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Webb is in a share of fifth at 10-under par but a distant seven shots back with one round left to play.
Following their round of 62 in Round 2, Webb and Alex had 69 on day three as Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas broke free of the field with a round of 64.
Rookie Karis Davidson is positioned for her best finish on the LPGA Tour – tied for eighth paired with Ecuador’s Daniela Darquea – while Sarah Kemp and Sarah Jane Smith are tied for 14th paired with Mariajo Uribe and Alena Sharp respectively.
At the US PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship, Cam Davis has moved inside the top 10 through 36 holes.
After narrowly missing out on a place in the field at The Open Championship, Davis had seven birdies on Friday, scoring eight points for the second day in a row in the Modified Stableford scoring format.
Davis is tied for seventh at the halfway mark, Davis is 10 shots back of leader Chez Reavie who accumulated 19 points with seven birdies and an eagle in Round 2.
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