Norway's Tonje Daffinrud shot a second round four under par 68 to take a one shot lead into the final day of the Azores Ladies Open.
The 23-year-old from Tonsberg played the challenging Golf de Batalha course impressively with birdies on the third, seventh, ninth, 12th and 13th holes and just one bogey on the fourth hole for a five under par total.
Daffinrud is playing in her sixth event on the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) after turning professional in August, following graduation from the University of Denver in June and competing for Norway in the World Team Championships.
“Once I was able to get my bachelor’s degree out of the way, I have just been able to focus on golf. That’s always been what I wanted to do,” Daffinrud said.
A top five place and automatic qualification to the LET next year may be just out of reach, as she joined LETAS late in the season, but Daffinrud is content to finish in the top 20 on the 2014 Ranking and avoid a trip to the first stage of the LET Lalla Aicha Tour School.
“I realise coming in half way it’s hard to get in the top five but I know a top 20 is definitely within reach. And I just accepted a sponsor’s invitation to the South African Ladies Open so I will play in Crete, but I won’t be in England,” she added.
Daffinrud feels comfortable as the leader and will stay with the game plan she followed for the last two days.
“I’ve been in this position before so I’m not too worried. But I just know that I have to keep my mind set on me and just focus on the next shot. I don’t want to get too caught up in the score or the result, I really can’t do anything about that. So I know I just have to focus on my game and try not to look at the leader board too much,” she said.
Daffinrud will be chased by the Czech Republic’s Daniela Prorokova, currently at four under par. Prorokova will be looking for her strongest finish this year, with her best result a tie for 40th place at the Royal Belgian Golf Federation LETAS Trophy in July.
Switzerland’s Caroline Rominger is a further shot back at three under par. The Swiss has been in strong form all season, with four top five finishes in her last seven events and will be chasing her first LETAS win.
A total of 26 professionals and two amateurs, including 16-year-old Portuguese amateur Leonor Guimaraes Bessa, made the cut, which fell at 11 over par.
Collated scores after round 2:
139 - Tonje Daffinrud (NOR) 71 68
140 - Daniela Prorokova (CZE) 70 70
141 - Caroline Rominger (SWI) 70 71
145 - Rachel Raastad (NOR) 71 74, Linda Henriksson (FIN) 76 69
147 - Anna Rossi (ITA) 75 72, Laura Murray (SCO) 75 72
148 - Franziska Friedrich (GER) 70 78
149 - Lina Boqvist (SWE) 73 76, Isabella Ramsay (SWE) 76 73
150 - Rachel Goodall (ENG) 78 72, Daisy Nielsen (DNK) 71 79, Melanie Maetzler (SWI) 74 76
151 - Kym Larratt (ENG) 77 74, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 72 79
152 - Emma Westin (SWE) 75 77
153 - Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (ISL) 75 78, Maria Beautell (ESP) 76 77, Laure Sibille (FRA) 77 76, Carmen Alonso (ESP) 76 77
154 - Leonor Guimaraes Bessa (PRT) 74 80, Vittoria Valvassori (ITA) 77 77, Lynn Carlsson (SWE) 77 77, Elisabetta Bertini (ITA) 78 76, Charlotte Wild (ENG) 80 74, Jane Turner (SCO) 75 79
155 - Maria Palacios (ESP) 77 78, Anna Svenstrup (SWE) 75 80
Missed the cut:
156 - Lien Willems (BEL) 81 75, Anjelika Hammar (SWE) 78 78, Anna Christina Kindgren (COL) 79 77
157 - Emma Nilsson (SWE) 78 79, Linnea Torsson (SWE) 77 80, Monia Bernardo (PRT) 80 77
158 - Tamara Scheidegger (SWI) 81 77, Marion Duvernay (FRA) 83 75, Carolina Gonzalez Garcia (ESP) 75 83, Amber Ratcliffe (ENG) 78 80
160 - Stefania Avanzo (ITA) 79 81, Martyna Mierzwa (POL) 80 80
161 - Rebecca Green (AUS) 77 84, Therese Nerpin (SWE) 77 84
162 - Laura Sanchez (COL) 79 83
163 - JI-HYUN Suh (ENG) 77 86
167 - Eva-Maria Moehwald (SWI) 83 84
169 - Veslemoy Heramb (NOR) 84 85