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Apr 30th, 2022

Stark holds halfway lead at Women’s NSW Open

Swede holds a narrow advantage after strong finish

Sweden’s Maja Stark produced a round of 69 (-3) to lead by one stroke after 36 holes at the Women’s NSW Open. The 22-year-old was the co-leader overnight having shot 68 (-4) in her opening round, but her second day at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club was far from straightforward.

After starting her round with two bogeys, Stark rolled in two birdies and a further bogey on the front nine to make the turn in 37 (+1).
The two-time LET winner had a better back nine with birdies on 10th, 12th, and 13th before dropping a shot on 15th, but finished with a flourish making birdies on the 17th and 18th to lead the tournament on seven-under-par.
“I can’t really remember anything from the round! It was a lot of up and downs, I do know that,” Stark said. “It was very frustrating and then I was able to make a few putts on the back nine so that made me a little bit happier again.
“It wasn’t a great start. I hit it in the water on one with a hook, which was interesting. I didn’t make up and down and I didn’t do it on the hole after that either. It was just a struggle.
“It is always good to be in the lead. I’m happy and I just want to take the good stuff from these two rounds because I made more bogeys than I usually do when I shoot these scores."
Wales’ Lydia Hall produced the joint-best round of the day firing a bogey-free 67 (-5) to move to a total of six-under-par and be in a share of second place.
“I hit a lot of fairways, I think I hit 16 out of 18 greens today, so I gave myself a lot of chances and that was the goal,” Hall said.
“It was a slowish start and then I hit a really nice shot into 15 to start the day and get the birdies going. I got in my stride and played quite nicely.”

Alongside Hall on six-under is Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher, who also carded a round of 67 (-5) to move into second place.
Four birdies on her front nine moved the 26-year-old up the leaderboard and three birdies and two bogeys on her back nine ensured she is in contention heading into the weekend.
“I think I started off good. I didn’t make a birdie on the first, but I kept on going and giving myself chances,” said Simmermacher, who is fourth in the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol.
“Then the birdies came on four, six and seven, then I birdied nine and 10, which are par-fives. On some par-fours, I left it really close and then on some I made really long putts. It was fun out there."
England’s Alice Hewson is a shot further back in fourth place on five-under-par having shot a round of 70 (-2) on Friday afternoon.
“I got off to a good start again today. I made a few mistakes, but I feel I bounced back pretty nicely. Overall, I’m pretty happy,” said the 2020 Investec SA Women’s Open champion."
Australia’s Cassie Porter sits in fifth place on four-under-par after a round of 68 (-4) and despite starting with two bogeys, she then sunk six birdies including four in a row on holes 11 through to 14.
“I’m happy with today. I started off with two bogeys, so it wasn’t fantastic to start, but I got my stuff together. I started hitting it straight which was nice, I wasn’t hitting it straight at the start, and then I holed a few putts and then got on a bit of a birdie train which always helps," said Porter.
Four players are tied for sixth with Malaysia’s Genevieve Ling, Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson and Scotland’s Michele Thomson all on three-under-par.
While five players are in a share of tenth place including Australian duo Whitney Hillier and Jordan O’Brien and Alexandra Swayne from the US Virgin Islands. The cut fell at +6 with 69 players making it through to the weekend.

TAGS: Ladies European Tour, Women’s NSW Open, Maja Stark, Lydia Hall, Magdalena Simmermacher, 2022