TICINO, Switzerland – Australian Rebecca Artis continued to lead the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open after grinding out a second round of one-under-par 71 in hot and windy conditions at Golf Gerre Losone on Friday.
Artis, who opened with a career-low 64, was nine under par at the halfway stage of the LET’s third biggest prize-money tournament.
Italians Diana Luna and Veronica Zorzi joined England’s Florentyna Parker two strokes behind.
Artis combined five birdies with four birdies on the picturesque, mountainside course, near Ascona in Ticino.
“It was a grind,” said the tournament leader. “I didn’t hit it quite as well today, but I stayed patient and tried to focus on one shot at a time, focus on fairways and greens and I made a couple of putts when I needed to and made a couple of par putts to keep the momentum going, so it was a solid day overall.”
Newlywed Artis and her husband Geoff are used to the heat living on the Gold Coast in Queensland, but, like many of the afternoon players, battled with the tricky breeze.
“It was a lot tougher today. The wind was up and it was swirling a bit and it was fairly strong, so it was definitely tougher today than yesterday but I stayed patient and grinded all day so I’m pleased with that,” said Artis, who has a base in England during the European golf season at Lingfield Park Marriot Hotel Resort.
Defending champion Luna also played in the hot and breezy afternoon conditions and was pleased with her round of 70, which contained three birdies and one dropped shot.
“I am very pleased. It was very tough out there this afternoon. The wind was blowing and it was gusting and changing direction pretty much the whole way around,” Luna said. “I think it was hard out there and of course I was hanging well even though I had a few bad shots and managed to recover very well. I was very pleased about that.
“It was definitely very, very different to yesterday. The course is drying out and it was very hot out there. It was really tough.”