Royal Lytham’s Bethany Garton shot the best 18 holes of the day in the second round of the English women’s stroke play championship at St Annes Old Links.
She carded a superb one under par 71, which improved on her first round by eight shots and moved her 40 places up the leaderboard into a share of eighth place.
She had spent Tuesday working on her putting - and it paid off.
She said: “My game felt good on Tuesday, but I didn’t hole anything. In the second round, I was just more steady.”
The 21-year-old had a perfect start when her shot into the first green finished close enough for a tap-in birdie.
Cornwall’s Sammie Giles and Yorkshire’s Rochelle Morris shared the lead at the halfway stage on 145, six ahead of Garton.
After two days of battling the winds they are both one-over par and a shot ahead of Hong Kong’s Michelle Cheung – who favoured a trip to England to escape the heat of home!
Devon’s Jess Bradley is in fourth place, a further shot back.
The wind in the second round came off the land and, according to the club’s head professional, Dan Webster, the direction made scoring very difficult.
Giles (St Mellion), a past winner of the English mid-amateur title, has put together two very tidy rounds.
Over the 36 holes she’s had two birdies, three bogeys and 31 pars.
Cheung is making her both her first trip to England and her first outing on a links course.
“I’ve watched it on TV,” she said. “It’s really windy but you learn to keep the ball low.” She’s enjoyed the putting, remarking: “The greens are really so nice and smooth, so good.”
Cheung is a past winner of the Hong Kong ladies’ championship and had a top 20 finish in this year’s Hong Kong Ladies’ Open on the Asian Tour.
The field has been cut to the leading 36 players and ties. A total of 40 players qualified for today’s final 36 holes.
Georgia Coughlin, from the host club, just missed the cut by one stroke.
Emily Shea (Royal Lytham) also lost out.
*French teenagers Alexandre Lasalarie and Andrea Milazzo set the pace in the English under-14 boys’ open championship for the Reid Trophy at Preston Golf Club - but, there was disappointment for Royal Lytham’s Grady Rogerson.
The Lancastrian had been joint leader after day one, but he could not replicate his form of the first round when he shot a 71.
A second round 79 dropped him to a share of 13th place, but he safely made the cut.
Lasalarie, from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, scored four-under par 68 which was the low round of the tournament so far.
He was level par for the tournament and led by one from Milazzo who scored 71, 72.
The 14-year-old had five birdies in his round, including the 17th and 18th – which took him into the lead.
The French players headed an international leaderboard.
Pedro Marin Santander of Spain went into today’s final round in third place on three-over while two Danish players shared fourth place a further shot behind,: Rasmus Bofill and Rasmus Hojgaard.
The leading English player was Dominic Clemons (Gog Magog) who was sixth on five-over, after rounds of 73 74.
He would have been much higher up the leaderboard had it not been for a triple bogey eight on the 17th.
He had played the rest of the round in level par with two birdies and two bogeys.
Three more English players were in a group sharing seventh place on six over: Nya Fraser-Lawrence (Hendon), James Ashfield (Eaton, Chester) and Conor Gough (Stoke Park).
At the end of the second round, the field was cut to the leading 70 players and ties who will play today’s final round.
A total of 71 players qualified.
There was dismay for Blackpool North Shore’s Louis Talarczyk, who missed the cut by one stroke at 17 over par.