Karrie Webb overcame challenging conditions on The Serapong to consolidate her lead at the halfway mark in the HSBC Women’s Champions 2014. Strong winds at the Sentosa Golf Club were not enough to destabilize the Australian’s title hopes as she goes into round three two-shots clear at the top of the leader board.
Leading on nine-under-par 135 and showing the same form that brought her victory at the Australian Open earlier this year, the World No. 7 and winner of the 2011 HSBC Women’s Champions finished three-under-par 69, picking up four birdies on the front nine and two birdies on back nine; her score card blemished only by three bogeys on holes 1, 13 and 15.
When asked about her performance today, the 39-year-old Australian said, “A few loose swings on the back nine today which didn't happen yesterday but recovered pretty well from them, only two bogeys and to shoot 3 under, I think I'm pretty happy with that. Anything in the 60s on this golf course is a good day.”
As for her current form, she said, “Well, I have played well here before, obviously not here at Sentosa but I just enjoy coming to Singapore. When you feel good about a place generally more often than not, it translates into good golf.”
Trailing closely behind is former champion, American Angela Stanford who moved up to second place at seven-under-par 137. Finishing round two with a score of three-under-par 69, the World No. 19 hit straight birdies on holes 9, 10, 11 and claimed another on hole 6. Despite a bogey on par-5 hole 12, the 36-year-old Texan looks to be a strong contender to challenge for the coveted title ‘Champion of Champions’ for a second time following her win in 2012.
Stanford said, “I think my putter has really been working this week. [I’ve been] rolling it in real good and seeing the lines really good. I’ve been putting myself in good spots and making putts.”
On finishing the day in second place, “You know, last year is still fresh in my mind and I struggled on this golf course. I’m not getting ahead of myself. I know what’s still out there.”
Holding steady in third place and one stroke behind at six-under-par 138 is World No. 53 Taiwan’s Teresa Lu. The 25-year-old struggled on the front nine with a bogey on the first and a double bogey on the par-4 third but gained confidence after birdieing hole 8. Lu then completed the back nine with two birdies on holes 11 and 12, before wrapping up with a sweet eagle on the 18th green.
Tied in fourth place with four-under-par at the mid-way point of the tournament are Americans Morgan Pressel, Danielle Kang and Paula Creamer, joined by Swedes Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist.
The only Singaporean amongst the field of golfing greats, 15-year-old Amanda Tan got off to a shaky start on the back nine, recording four bogeys and two double-bogeys. With another two bogeys on holes 2 and 3, Tan can take heart from a birdie on the par-5 fourth ending her round at nine-over par 81 as she continues to gain valuable experience playing amongst the world’s best female golfers.
With two days to go and an enticing prize purse of US$1.4 million, the tournament dubbed as ‘Asia’s Major’ will have plenty to offer as fans flock to Sentosa Golf Club for the weekend’s play. For more information on the HSBC Women’s Champions 2014, please visit the tournament website at http://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens
photos Janos Schmidt