Alison Muirhead, who last week won the Pre-Qualifier event for the Final Stage of Ladies European Tour Qualifying School, continued her impressive form firing a superb six-under-par 67 around the South Course at La Manga Club in Cartagena, Spain.
As the sun finally came out, Muirhead’s game warmed up and she rolled in seven birdies on the way to posting the round of the day, to open up a five shot lead after two rounds. The 21-year-old from Scotland was delighted: “I am really enjoying La Manga Club. The South Course was playing really good today, it was playing long and the greens were in superb condition. They were rolling so good and I made seven birdies. My playing partners (Filippa Moork and Maria Beautell) were really nice and the sun has come out now instead of the rain. It was all enjoyable, so I can’t really complain about anything!
“I am relaxing away from the course with my Mum, coach and caddy which has helped. The villa that we are staying in has a ping pong table and we are having a championship. I am really enjoying being here, the restaurants are good fun and it is such a friendly environment.”
The overnight leader Morgane Metraux posted a level par 73 around the South Course to finish the day tied second. After an opening round three-under-par, Morgane was happy with the round which included 18 pars, showcasing excellent consistency after a year out from competitive golf with a shoulder injury. The 22-year-old from Switzerland commented: “I was very consistent today. I struggled with my iron play at the start of my round and was pretty far from most the pins so I was happy with the two putts. After six or seven holes, I was hitting it closer but I just couldn’t buy a putt today. I hit 17 greens and had 35 putts!
“After a year out with my shoulder injury, I didn’t come here with any expectations as it has been so long since I last competed. To be in contention and near the top of the leaderboard is really good.”
16-year-old Slovenian amateur Pia Babnik is the youngest player competing at final stage and currently plays off a handicap of +7. Last year Pia made her Ladies European Tour debut at the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open and represented the European PING Junior Solheim Cup team at Gleneagles.
The young Slovenian star carded a two-under-par 71 around the South Course to move into a share of second position and after her round reflected: “The courses were very well prepared today. The North and South courses are both tough courses and are very different. I am really happy to be here, am feeling great but there is still a long way to go. My goal is to play professional tournaments and to be the best.”
There are currently nine players under par in Spain including Amy Boulden who posted a four-under-par 67 on the North Course and Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir and EunJung Ji who carded a four-under-par 69 on the South Course and all finished the day on two-under-par.
After the Final Round, the top five players will be eligible for LET Membership in Category 5c. Players from the 6th to the 20th position will be eligible for Membership in Category 8a. Players who have made the 72-hole cut to the leading 60 and ties and finished in position 21st and below, will be ranked according to score and be eligible for Membership in Category 9b. Players that fail to make the cut after 72 holes, will be eligible for LET membership in Category 12a and will be ranked in final score order.