Australia’s Jason Scrivener and Nick Flanagan yesterday shared a two-shot lead, while American Kim Kaufman took charge of the women’s tournament at the pioneering ISPS Handa Vic Open.
The event, cosanctioned by the European Tour and the US-based LPGA Tour, is the only one in the world with male and female fields playing, in alternate groups, on the same course and for equal prize money.
Scrivener carded six birdies in his six-under-par 66 on day two, while fellow Australian Flanagan, a former US amateur champion, shot a 68 to go with his opening-round 62.
“It’s been two solid days [of] work,” said Scrivener, who continued his strong early season form, which has been rewarded with three top-10 finishes on the European Tour.
“It’s just patience, really. I think knowing there’s a lot of birdies out there helps. If you try to rush them, you can make mistakes, so just plodding your way around and being smart about it,” he said.
James Nitties, who on Thursday sank a world record-equaling nine birdies in a row at the 13th Beach Golf Links south of Melbourne, could only manage one in his round of 74, which was tarnished by a double-bogey on the 18th.
Kaufman, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, positioned herself for the weekend with her second 66 in a row — including a birdie-birdie finish — to be two ahead of Japan’s Haru Nomura.
“I just kind of did the same thing as yesterday. With all the par-fives out there, everything’s just pretty solid. Just been fun,” Kaufman said, adding that she had been keen to play the male-female event.
“Last year was when I kind of heard about it and I’ve been pretty outspoken about coming down here,” she said. “It’s lived up to every expectation, which has been great.”
England’s Felicity Johnson, the first-round leader, could only muster a second-round 74 to be seven off the pace.
One of the day’s biggest movers was veteran Karrie Webb, who stroked a 65 to be six behind Kaufman.
Taiwan’s Teresa Lu carded a one-over 73 to finish the second round tied for 33rd on a three-under 142 total, while Chien Pei-yun and Tsai Pei-ying were in a group tied for 41st on two-under 143.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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