Ace puts Hedwall ahead Down Under

Caroline Hedwall of Sweden carded an eagle and a hole in one while shooting 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen of Norway after two rounds of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at the Victoria Club in Melbourne, Australia.

Hedwall, who has won eight times as a pro but never on the LPGA Tour, started on the back nine and holed her tee shot from 160 yards with a 7-iron on the 16th hole. She added two birdies to play her first nine in 4-under 32.

“No. 16, (Thursday) I hit a full 7-iron over the green and it was basically the same yardage today, so I hit a soft one and it covered the pin all the way, and then I just saw it bounce once and hit the pin,” Hedwall said of her fourth ace. “But I didn’t see it go in. I think the crowd up there, they didn’t want to yell because Lorie (Kane) or someone was hitting off No. 17, so we walked up there and they were like, it went in. I was like, oh, nice. It wasn’t really the feeling when you see it go in, but it’s always nice.

” … You (Aussies) have great golf courses down here and the people are so relaxed and so welcoming, nice weather. I think everything is great down here.  It is absolutely one of my favorite stops.”

First-round leader Pettersen, No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings who can take the top spot by winning, finishing solo second or tying for second with only one player, followed her opening 66 with a 68.

Amateur Minjee Lee of Australia parred her first nine holes after starting at No. 10 before holing her second shot for an eagle at No. 1. She added three birdies to play the front in 31 and finish with a 67 that put her alone in third.

Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old rising star from New Zealand, recorded a second straight 68 and was three shots back in a tie for fourth with Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, who had a 64, and Holly Clyburn of England, who also came in with a second 68.

Morgan Pressel shot 68 and was another stroke back in a tie for seventh that included Paula Creamer, who had a 69, and Jessica Korda, winner of the LPGA Tour opener in the Bahamas, who wound up at 70.

Cheyenne Woods, coming off her victory last week in the Volvik RACV Australian Ladies Masters, bounced back from an opening 74 with a 65 and was tied for 20th.


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