Scottish duo mixing it with best in Australian Women’s Open

Gemma Dryburgh tees off at the seventh en route to her 68 in the second round at Royal Adelaide. Picture: Andrew Spence
Gemma Dryburgh tees off at the seventh en route to her 68 in the second round at Royal Adelaide. Picture: Andrew Spence
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Two unheralded Scottish golfers are mixing it with the world’s best at their first LPGA tournament.

Michele Thomson and Gemma Dryburgh are tied for 20th on four-under at the halfway stage of the ISPS HANDA Australian Open Royal Adelaide in the South Australian capital.

Both born in Aberdeen and both playing in their first LPGA Tour event, Thomson and Dryburgh are five shots off the lead held by Australian Sarah Jane Smith. But they are four in front of World No. 1 Lydia Ko.

After posting an even par round of 73 on Thursday, Dryburgh, who is ranked 453 in the world, birdied the first two holes today on her way to a bogey-free four-under 69.

“It’s exciting to make the cut in my first LPGA event – obviously the goal is to do as well as I can but making the cut is definitely ticked off the bucket list now,” the 23-year-old said.

“I’ll try to keep moving up the leaderboard as much as possible and hopefully keep the birdies rolling in.”

Thomson, the World No. 406, began the day at five-under and reached seven-under before posting two bogies, a double bogey and just one birdie in her final six holes.

However, she was delighted to have comfortably made the cut in her first event on the world’s biggest women’s tour.

“I hit the ball brilliant again today so I’m pretty happy with how it’s going and I’m looking forward to posting some good numbers on the weekend,” she said. “Hopefully the crowds just keep getting bigger and it will be great.

“I have no expectations really and nobody really knows who I am so I can just play my own game – I’m just happy to be here.”

Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen is also on four-under following a pair of 71s.

Scotland’s highest ranked player Catriona Matthew was on the difficult half of the draw as far as the wind was concerned and missed the cut after finishing on five-over.

Four players are tied for second at eight-under including Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Americans Lizette Salas and Marissa Steen.

Michelle Wie is on 5-under after a solid second round and is one of eight Americans in the top 20.

First round leader Katherine Kirk, of Australia, fired a one-over 74 to be two shots from the lead on 7-under.

World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and defending champion Haru Nomura are seven shots off the pace on 2-under while world No.1 Lydia Ko and Canadian teenage star Brooke Henderson finished just inside the cut line on even par.

Five-time Australian Open Winner Karrie Webb and former world No.1 Laura Davies both missed the cut.