Michele Thomson tears up Kenya course with 66 in amazing turnaround

Bloody golf, eh? A day after it had Michele Thomson tearing her hair out, she then produces one of the best rounds of her life. An early contender, in fact, for performance of the season on the Ladies European Tour.

In testing conditions at Vipingo Ridge on day two of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, the Aberdonian carded a sensational bogey-free six-under-par 66, which represented a 13-shot improvement on her opening effort.

To put it in context, it was the best score of the day by no less than four shots and was also two strokes better than Swede Linnea Strom’s pace-setting score in the opening round.

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"I just played really consistently today, and I putted phenomenally,” said Thomson, who opened with back-to-back birdies after starting on the 10th before adding further gains at the 14th, 16th, 17th and seventh.

Aberdonian Michele Thomson grabbed the chance to be pictured with some of the wildlife roaming the course at Vipingo Ridge before teeing off in this week's Magical Kenya Ladies Open. Picture: Michele Thomson

"I just kind of went out with nothing to lose today because yesterday was so tough out there. It is a tough golf course and you've just got to keep your head in the game and let it happen.

“You're going to get bad bounces and I got a few of them today, but I got a few good ones as well, so that was nice.”

Thomson knows all about golf’s fickle nature, having been flying high after a first-round 65 in last year’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links only to have the wind taken out of her sails by an 80 the next day.

This time, though, the momentum is with the 33-year-old heading into the weekend as she chases a maiden victory, sitting just four shots behind Storm in a tie for third place in the opening event of the 2022 campaign.

Connor Syme in action during the second round of the the Ras Al Khaimah Classic at Al Hamra Golf Club. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
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"I'm happy with how things are going,” added Thomson, who is managed by Paul Lawrie. “I put the work in over the winter time and yesterday was a little bit disappointing to come off the way I did. You have just got to trust that you've done the work and today was nice."

As Strom added a 73 to lead by three shots from Spaniard Nuria Itturioz, Heather MacRae (79) and Laura Beveridge (76) also made the cut on nine and 11-over respectively.

On the DP World Tour, Connor Syme (67) and Bob MacIntyre (70) both sit four shots behind the leader, Kiwi Ryan Fox, at the halfway stage of the Ras Al Khaimah Classic at Al Hamra Golf Club.

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Syme moved into the top 10 on the back of a six-birdie salvo while MacIntyre carded five birdies, two of which came after he’d dropped three shots around the turn.

Fox, who is bidding to add to his 2019 World Super 6 win, leads by three shots from a group that includes South African trio Justin Harding, Zander Lombard and Oliver Bekker, who shot a course-record 62.

On the Challenge Tour, Euan Walker lost ground in the Dimension Data Pro-Am following a second-round 71 at Fancourt, slipping 11 shots off the lead, held by Frenchman Adrien Saddier after he shot a 63.

In the South African Amateur Championship, Auchterader’s Rory Franssen fell at the final hurdle as he lost 4&2 to home player Kyle de Beer in the 36-hole title decider at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington.

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