Sarah Kemp shook off two overnight co-leaders to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Ladies European Masters at the leafy Buckinghamshire Golf Club just outside London on Friday.
The 28-year-old from Sydney fired a 68, containing five birdies and one bogey, to end the day on nine under par, three clear of Amy Boulden and former co-leader Celine Herbin.
“It was nice and solid, nothing too crazy and I birdied the two par fives, 10 and 14,” said Kemp, who has two runner-up finishes in six seasons on the Ladies European Tour.
“This is great. I haven’t been in this position too many times and this is where I want to be, somewhere in contention. I thought the wind was going to be up a bit more but it’s not really and not as strong as yesterday. There is definitely a bit of wind, but I’m happy with the score.”
Tour rookie Boulden, a 20-year-old from Llandudno in North Wales, had five birdies and two bogeys, finishing her round in gusty conditions.
Boulden, who was the first reserve for the tournament, qualified for the US Women’s Open at the venue six weeks ago and now has the chance to qualify for next week’s major, the Women’s British Open, if she is one of the top three LET members not otherwise exempt.
“I’m in a good position but I three putted the last which was a bit disappointing,” she said.
“I’ve got final qualifying on Monday so hopefully I’ll get a good week here.
Playing in gustier conditions in the afternoon, Frenchwoman Herbin completed a solid 71 with an eagle on her last hole, the par-five ninth, to join Boulden on six under.
“It was a very nice way to finish. I hit a huge drive, six-iron second shot and I put it to four metres, so it was a very good putt,” Herbin said.
“It was a difficult round, you had to stay patient in those conditions because it was very windy today and much windier than yesterday morning.”
Five players were a stroke further behind including Australia’s world number one amateur Minjee Lee.
Defending champion Karrie Webb had a 70 which left her on one under par and eight shots off the lead.
Dame Laura Davies had a second round of 74, containing two eagles, at the first and 14th, a double bogey at the eighth and a triple on 17.