ISPS Handa World Invitational Round 2 Recap | LPGA | Association of Women’s Golf Professionals


Marissa Steen shot a round of 72 (-1) to take pole position atop the leaderboard at the ISPS World Invitational HANDA presented by AVIV Clinics.

The American started the day with two lows, which she nailed at Galgorm, and headed to the Links of Castlerock.

Being in the first group out, Steen made the most of the conditions on what proved to be a very windy and wet day.

The 33-year-old made two bogeys and three birdies for her round of 72 to move to the top of the leaderboard with a total of three under par.

“I told my owner before we started to just be patient today with the wind that was going to blow,” Steen said. “This course is so exposed when it’s so close to the water, so all I was trying to do was be patient. That was really my only thought.

“Galgorm is a very different challenge to this course as it’s parkland, and the wind out there is harder to judge because, with more trees, it just swirls more. Here where it is so exposed, it was just more confident that I had the right club and calculated the wind correctly.

“I feel like I’ve put some good weeks together so far this season. The game seems very close to me. I was upset that I didn’t do AIG last week, but I had a good time just working on my golf game.

“It feels good to see it pay off again this week. I feel like my game was pretty solid. Maybe I’m not putting it all together at exactly the right time, but things are good.”

Germany’s Esther Henseleit is tied for second on the leaderboard after a round of 71 (-2) at Castlerock.

The two-time LET winner had five birdies and three bogeys on her score on day two in Northern Ireland to move into contention.

“I didn’t make a lot of changes from yesterday to today,” Henseleit said. “I guess the golf course is very different. It’s a lot tougher out here, but it was windy yesterday too, so you need some low shots and just hitting fairways, hitting greens and making your shots.

“I hit it into a bunker twice today. he became a bogeyman both times. I guess that’s the medicine to take on a links golf course. Other than that, I played really well.

“I’m really confident right now on the golf course. I’m throwing some punches so that’s nice to see. I feel good. It was good yesterday too. Just a little bad shot that cost me entry.

“The plan is to keep shaking in the wind really. Don’t make silly mistakes. Just play your pars. A few fakes might come in and you get a few birdies, but just keep them in play in the wind.”

Four players are tied for third with England’s Gabriella Cowley, Germany’s Olivia Cowan, Switzerland’s Kim Metraux and American Ryann O’Toole all tied.

Cowley, who was one of the co-leaders overnight, had a tough day at Galgorm carding a round of 75 (+3) but remains just two shots off the lead.

“The conditions were very difficult this morning, especially early on as it was cold and windy and raining, but I knew it was going to be a battle and I just had to score,” said the Englishwoman.

“Galgorm is always tough. I’ve played the last few years here and it’s a tough layout, but you just have to commit to your shots here. From now on, I will be playing the same as I have been for the past few days. I just want to stick to the game plan and commit to it.”

German Cowan had a good first two days with rounds of 72 at both Castlerock and Galgorm to be level.

“I played nice out there,” said LET winner Cowan. “I grinded it. It was hard at times but I tried to stay strong and carry on, I did well.

“At 18, I was robbed there! I think my putt hit something in the middle so it hit left, but it was still a good par and I’m happy with my round. Every week is great to finish strong and it’s important, so I’m happy to be playing good golf and to be in contention. I will try to continue this.”

Metraux started her round in style today with an eagle on the 10thu and in the worst of the afternoon’s conditions he fought back well for a round of 75 (+3) to remain just two shots off the lead.

“It was good,” said the Swiss star. “I hit it right to the back of the green in two and managed to roll to 12-feet for eagle. It was nice to catch a few early and just have a bit of leeway for what was to come with the wind and rough conditions.

“Fortunately we didn’t have as much rain as planned. It was very difficult with the wind, some tee shots and even some shots on the green were quite difficult. Hitting fairways and greens was key. I didn’t manage to do that all day but I managed to narrow the problem so very happy with the race today.”

Five players are tied for seventh with India’s Diksha Dagar, Wales’ Chloe Williams, Korea’s Soo Bin Joo, Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura and Australia’s Karis Davidson all level.

The cut has fallen to +5 with 63 players through to the third round, which will be played at Galgorm on Saturday, and there will be a further cut to the top 35 players and ties at the 54-hole mark.

In the men’s competition, Dan Brown of England is still in front with a total of 11 shots under par and has a six-shot lead at the 36-hole mark.

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