KWAZULU-NATAL, South Africa – A windy second round of the SA Women’s Open ended in a four-way tie for the lead and a host of others right in contention at Selborne Park Golf Club on Saturday.
Germany’s Caroline Masson overcame a bogey-bogey start and signed for a 75 to stay in the lead at level par.
But South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon joined her with a 72, and France’s Joanna Klatten and England’s Danielle Montgomery did the same with their respective rounds of 73 and 70.
And the four of them are only one clear of France’s Julie Greciet, while a further nine players are within three shots of the lead.
“When the conditions are this difficult the leaderboard is always tight, so every shot out there counts. But it should be an exciting final round,” said Masson, who fought hard to remain in contention despite the worst of starts.
“I was two over after two and thought it was going to be a really tough day. But I just stayed patient and tried to make my pars. I made a few stupid mistakes, but all in all I think I did okay in these conditions. You just have to keep focusing and that’s tough on your mind.”
While her long irons let her down, Masson’s short game was impressive and she scrambled a number of good pars. “If I can just keep doing that then I’ll be fine. On this course you need to make a few good pars when you hit it into trouble.”
Simon had one of the more solid rounds on the day, making a single birdie and bogey to give the South Africans something to cheer about.
“The conditions were really tricky but I hung in there. At times it was a three-club wind. But I’ve played some of my best golf in the wind before.”
As much as she was fighting the conditions, Simon is also still battling with her health and the stomach bug that has plagued her since the start of this tournament.
“I felt a bit stronger this morning but had to get tablets from the doctor after nine holes. But I’m getting there.”
At two over par, South Africa’s Stacy Bregman and Lee-Anne Pace are also still in the hunt. And with the wind expected to blow even harder on the final day, even Lindsey Wright, Becky Brewerton, Anne-Lise Caudal and Felicity Johnson at three over will feel they still have a chance at victory.
“Look, level par or one over could probably win it on the final day,” said Simon.
And Klatten is setting herself up for another day of patient golf. “You have to be very patient. This is a golf course that will beat you up if you give up. You have to accept bogeys out there and not push anything.”
And yet there will be a number of them pushing very hard for a maiden victory on Sunday.