SA pair improve but remain off the pace

2016-08-18 21:01
Ashleigh Simon (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Both South African golfers shot drastically improved second rounds at the Rio Olympics women's golf tournament on Thursday, though they still lag some way behind the leaders.

Paula Reto dropped just one shot on her way to carding a four-under 67, completing the front nine in three under par before bogeying the 16th.

Reto made a strong finish to her day, carding birdies on the final two holes to end on 67 for the day and one under overall, leaving her tied for 32nd place.

Ashleigh Simon again struggled in the opening holes, dropping shots on the third and fourth.

She fought back, though, carding four birdies on the remaining fourteen holes to finish two under for the day and move into a share of 41st place.

Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard, South Korea's Inbee Park shot a second consecutive five-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead into the third round.

The first six holes of the front nine proceeded in exactly the same fashion as yesterday for the world number five, as she parred the first four holes before making a birdie on the fifth and another par on the sixth.

Park bogeyed the seventh hole as well but recovered to sink another five birdies and end the day ten under.

World number seven Stacy Lewis shot an eight-under 63 to move into second place, one shot back.

While her round included three dropped shots – a bogey on the seventh and a double-bogey on the 14th – Lewis also shot an incredible 11 birdies to jump into medal contention.

Like Lewis, teenaged sensation Brooke Henderson also had a so-so first round but now finds herself in the running as well, two shots back after a seven-under 64.

Henderson carded four consecutive birdies on the final four holes as she finished strong.

Charley Hull of team GB shares third place with Henderson after a five-under round of 66 left her on eight under overall.

Candie Kung of Chinese Taipei occupies tied-fifth with Marianne Skarpnord of Norway and Denmark's Nicole Broch Larsen.

Overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn shot a disappointing even par 71 to drop back to tied-eighth.

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