For the second time in ten days Women’s US Open champion So Yeon Ryu will enter the weekend of a Ladies European Tour event at the head of an elite field.
Quite unlike last week, however, when the Korean carded a career-best 61 en route to a scarcely believable 36-hole total of 17-under-par, her performance at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open has been a showcase of resilience and astute tactical awareness.
On a day when Royal Melbourne yielded only two sub-70 rounds, Ryu plotted her way to a four-under-par 69, enough for a aggregate score of six-under-par and a one shot lead over her compatriot Hee Kyung Seo, who tore through the field on Friday with an incredible seven-under-par round of 66.
The pair are followed closely by England’s Melissa Reid (71), Jessica Korda (71), Stacy Lewis (73) and Julieta Grenada (72).
World Number One Yani Tseng (76), who endured a turbulent second round that included a quadruple-bogey eight and a further pair of dropped shots, slid from an share of third overnight to a place just inside the top-ten.
Far from disappointed, the five-time major champion was relieved she steadied the ship and succeeded in returning a round more respectable than her untimely snowman suggested was in the offing.
“I mean [after the 8] I almost cried… But no I didn’t. I hung in there and I did a good job….I’m glad I was able to fight back on the back nine.”
New South Wales native Sarah Kemp disimproved by a full ten shots on day two, carding a 79 to sit alongside Lexi Thompson (74) and Beatriz Recari (72) in a tie for 18th place.