Ladies European Tour
Mar 3rd, 2023
Nicole Broch Estrup leads the Joburg Ladies Open
Dane leads by two at halfway mark in Johannesburg
Photography: Tristan Jones/LET
After a disappointing day on the par-fives yesterday, Broch Estrup made sure to take advantage of them on day two and now holds a two-shot lead after 36 holes.
“Yesterday, I was three-over on the par-fives,” she said. “I am always kind of focusing on the par-fives, but today I really wanted to take advantage of them.
“The first hole being a par-five, I started with a nice birdie so that kicked it off. The big difference from yesterday to today was the par-fives, I think I’m four-under on them and yesterday I was three-over. I’m getting away with a couple of bad drives here and there but in general I’m feeling good.”
Broch Estrup has spoken previously about the anxiety around her golf game, but her husband Kasper, also her caddie, reminded her today of her goals for the week.
She explained: “The strongest part of my game was probably my putting. I haven’t three-putted yet in these two rounds and I made some clutch five to seven footers when I needed for pars and even for birdies on the par-fives when I two-putted.
“My putting is feeling good, but in general Kasper was good at reminding me that my big goal is that I want to achieve and not avoid. So, not being afraid of hitting a bad shot but trying to achieve to hit good shots and I did good today on that part.”
Three players share second place with Sweden’s Linnea Johansson, Czechia’s Klara Davidson Spilkova and England’s Lily May Humphreys, all on six-under-par.
It was a hot start for Johansson, who teed off on the 10th, and rolled in four birdies in her first five holes before adding another on the 17th.
Despite a double bogey on the 4th, the Swede bounced back with a birdie on the 8th to seal a round of 69 (-4) and move to a total of six-under.
“It was obviously a very great day,” said Johansson. “It was good to post a low score. I started very nicely with five-under on my front nine and struggled a bit with on the back nine, but I’m super happy with my performance today.
“The course is in very great condition. I putted really well especially on my front nine. I had a lot of good opportunities and managed to roll them in.
“I’m going to try to stick to my game plan, there’s two more rounds and only half the tournament has passed. I’m going to stick to what I’m doing with one shot at a time and one hole at a time and create as many chances as I can and hopefully have a great weekend.”
Davidson Spilkova also produced a round of 69 (-4) to move into a share of second place as she made six birdies and two bogeys.
“It was a good day,” said the winner of the 2022 KPMG Women’s Irish Open. “The front nine was very solid, I was five-under and then I made another birdie on 10 to get to six-under.
“The back nine is tough and tricky. I ended up behind some trees on the back, but it was a really solid day especially the back nine. I have been putting really really well, so I think that’s the key. I almost made a birdie on 17 as well, I’m very happy for that."
While Humphreys, who won the 2021 LET Access Series Order of Merit, had a very mixed day on her way to a round of 70 (-3).
After getting off to a blistering start with three birdies and an eagle on her front nine, the English player had two double bogeys and two birdies on her back nine to be on six-under after 36 holes.
Humphreys said: “It was a bit more adventurous than yesterday! I started very well on the front nine, I played very solidly and didn’t really do anything wrong. I took all the opportunities I could.
“On 10, it was pretty much some nerves and nearly everything went wrong on that one hole. I followed up with two birdies to come back and then I made another mistake, but apart from those two holes I pretty much played really solidly and didn’t do too much wrong.”
Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom sits in outright fifth place on five-under-par after firing a round of 67 (-6) on day two.
Five players sit in a tie for sixth place with England’s Felicity Johnson, South Africa’s Nicole Garcia, Sweden’s Moa Folke, Italy’s Alessandra Fanali and Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley all on four-under-par.
South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, an 11-time winner on the LET, is just outside the top 10 on three-under-par after producing a round of 69 (-4).
The cut fell at two-over with 64 players making it through to the final two days of competition at Modderfontein Golf Club.