Italy’s Sergas leads Pegasus NZ Open
BY Bruce Young | ALPG Tour | 2011 New Zealand Women's Open | Round Two | 18 Feb 2011
It took Italian golfer Giulia Sergas a while to get things moving forward in round two of the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open at the Pegasus Golf and Sports Resort near Christchurch today but once she did there was no stopping the 31 year old.
Sergas led the tournament by three shots after her opening round of 64 but at even par through 11 holes of her round today she had been passed by West Australian Kristie Smith and had hardly capitalised on her fast start to the event.
Sergas birdied four holes in succession from her 13th hole however and although just as she had done yesterday, she bogeyed her 17th hole she finished with a round of 69 and at 11 under she leads by two over Smith and by four over Sweden’s Linda Wessberg.
Sergas, a former European Amateur Champion, opened her season with two midfield finishes at the Australian Women’s Open and last week’s ANZ RACV Ladies Masters Seven days ago but she had been ill in Australia and although still not 100% she has played beautifully thus far.
Sergas who has also played the LPGA Tour in recent years has yet to win on the Ladies European Tour but she has created a great chance to do just that.
West Australian Kristie Smith led at the halfway mark of the ANZ RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines and today she has again put herself in position for her first LET victory. The 22 year old recorded a second round of 64 and actually held the lead before Sergas’ late rally.
Smith started at the 10th hole today and although still at even par through 6 holes for her round she quickly moved through the field with a back nine of 30 and when she had finished her round at around 12.30pm NZ time she had taken the lead.
Smith battled the more difficult afternoon conditions on day one with a round of 71, one of only three sub par rounds on Thursday and her patience resilience then was rewarded today.
Last weekend Smith faltered with rounds of 73 and 70, got swamped in the rush of birdies at Royal Pines and finished in a share of 23rd position. With that experience behind her however and against this weaker field she is likely to fare much better over the final 36 holes.
Like Sergas, Smith has yet to win a Ladies European Tour event although she has won events on the ALPG Tour and on the Futures Tour in the US and as such knows what it takes to contend to the death.
Sweden’s Linda Wessberg recorded the round of the day and equalled the course record in this event with a morning round of 63 to move to 7 under and four behind the leader. It was a round that surprised, especially given her visit to the water at the par four 11th, her second hole of the day.
Wessberg recorded a final round of 79 at last week’s ANZ ladies Masters and when she opened with an indifferent round of 74 yesterday things did not appear as if they had improved a whole lot. She turned around her fortunes after the early bogey today however producing seven consecutive birdies from her 10th hole of the round.
One shot further back is a group of four players including defending champion, Laura Davies, last year’s joint runner-up Pernilla Lindberg, the joint first round leader at last week’s ANZ ladies Masters, Cassandra Kirkland and the brilliant 13 year old from Auckland Lydia Ko.