Sweden's Hedwall leads Australian Open
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2014 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open | Round Two | 14 Feb 2014
Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall has the lead at the halfway mark of the Women’s Australian Open at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne, the world number 21 continuing to show that she is rapidly becoming a force in women’s golf.
The highlight of the 26 year old’s second round today was a hole in one at the uphill par three 16th which was her 7th hole of her round but it was her barnstorming finish which swept her to the lead.
Hedwall birdied her 16th hole then eagled the 8th (her 17th) and birdied the last to take a two shot lead although Norway’s Suzann Pettersen closed the gap to just one when she added late birdies for a round of 68 and at 10 under the world number two not only looks a great chance to win this event for the first occasion but to take the mantle as the game’s leading player.
A win this week would do that for the 33 year old and even a runner-up finish might just secure her that sought after status in world golf.
Australian Amateur Champion and last week’s runner-up at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters, Minjee Lee, from Western Australia, is one shot back of Pettersen and alone in 3rd position while one shot further back are Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, England’s Holly Clyburn and New Zealand 16 year old, Lydia Ko, who was last night named that country’s Sportsperson of the Year.
Hedwall, a two time winner of the Women’s NSW Open clearly enjoys herself in Australia. “You guys have great golf courses down here and the people are so relaxed and so welcoming and nice weather,” she said after her round today. “I think everything is great down here. It is absolutely one of my favourite stops.”
Hedwall took the world of women’s golf by storm last year when she became the first player to win all five matches at the Solheim Cup and played a key role in the upset win by Europe over the Americans in Denver.
Hedwall recorded nine top tens in events worldwide in 2013 and although her only win was in Sydney at the NSW Open she put together several very good finishes on the LPGA Tour a further statement on her growing status in the game.
The next best placed Australian after Minjee Lee is Lee’s fellow West Australian Jessica Speechley who is at six under and five shots from the lead.
Karrie Webb improved on last week’s effort but is still seven shots from Hedwall’s lead.
The cut will fall at even par