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Golf - 03. February 2012.

Ryu shoots 61 to hit the top in Australia

Gold Coast, Australia: South Korean So Yeon Ryu soared to the top of the
leaderboard after firing an incredible 11-under par 61, which included
12 birdies and one lone bogey at the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies
Masters in the second round on Friday.

The reigning US Open Champion, Ryu would have set two records at the
RACV Royal Pines Resort but unfortunately neither feat will be given
official status.

Due to the soaking the course has received over the past week, players
have been able to take preferred lies on the closely mown areas and the
altered playing conditions means the records won't stand.

Ryu's first record was equalling Queensland's Karrie Webb's outstanding
round of 11-under-par 61 and her second was posting the lowest 36-hole
score of 17 under 127 on the Ladies European Tour (LET). The Gold Coast
RACV Masters is co-sanctioned with the LET.

Not that Ryu was too upset at missing out on the record books. She will
most likely be busy tonight remarking her golf balls. At present she
marks it with "62" to represent her career low round, but now she will
be changing it to "61."

"I really wanted to change the number, finally I can change the number,"
she said.

"The last shot I was really, really nervous, but I made it, so I'm
really, really happy, and now I'm really looking forward to the last two
rounds."

Lack of official recognition aside, it was a remarkable score by the
21-year-old who could have shot one shot less had she not bogeyed her
second hole of the day.

Still it was enough to give her a sizeable four shot lead over
Dutchwoman Christel Boeljon who is on 13 under 131, heading into the
weekend.

Boeljon finds herself in outright second courtesy of a blistering
birdie, birdie, eagle finish.

The 24-year-old sunk a 15-metre eagle putt on the 430m par 5 18th to end
her round in style.

"It's a great feeling, great way to end my round, so you know, what do
you do? You take it every day," she said.

After four attempts, Boeljon has finally made the cut at Royal Pines and
said experience on the greens was the key.

"In the previous years, I've always had a little bit of trouble on the
greens, always had too much break and it showed," she said.

"Now it's just what it is, I don't want to read too much into the
putts."

Australia's Nikki Campbell had another strong round, again firing a five
under 67 to share third place with Ryu's compatriot Bo-Mee Lee on ten
under.  The duo is one shot ahead of Italian Diana Luna, American Amelia
Lewis and England's Felicity Johnson who are on nine under.

Queenslander Bree Arthur is the next best placed Australian in outright
8th position on eight under. 

The teenage duo of 16-year-old Lexi Thompson and exciting amateur,
14-year-old Lydia Ko, continued to wow the crowds today.

Ko recorded a three under 69 but was again left to rue two bogeys in her
round. Yesterday she carded three but today she at least took the
honours over playing partner Thompson.

Ko's 69 has her in a tie for 18th with a host of players including
Australian Stephanie Na at five under under 139. Thompson's two under 70
today sees her in a share of 9th place on seven under 137.

The 2009 Ladies Masters champion Katherine Hull will be missing from the
weekend after finishing on even par with Perth's Kristie Smith.  The
pair finished one shot below the cut line. England's Melissa Reid is
another big name to miss the next two days, while Laura Davies and 2011
Kraft Nabisco Champion Stacy Lewis just scraped in on one under.

Earlier in the day, the playing group of Corie Hou, Inhong Lim and
amateur Annie Choi were disqualified from the tournament for a rule
breach.

The trio were playing preferred lies through the green instead of on
closely mown areas only. All admitted to breaching this rule yesterday
and were then immediately disqualified after being questioned on the 2nd
tee today.

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