Scotland’s MacRae leads at rain-hit Turkish Airlines Ladies Open
Özgür KORKMAZ BELEK – Hürriyet Daily News
AA PhotoHeather MacRae will carry a one-stroke lead over her opponents into the weekend at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in Belek, which was reduced to 54 holes due to adverse weather conditions.
The second round scheduled for May 9 was called off due to heavy rains and a waterlogged course at the National Golf Club after at least 25 millimeters of rain fell overnight, continuing through the morning.
The field will be pared down to the leading 60 players after 36 holes, while the final 18 holes will be played May 11.
“This decision has been taken with the forecast for heavy rain until mid-afternoon,” tournament director Steve Kavanagh said. “The outlook for tomorrow is for the occasional showers which will give the course ample time to recover and the green keepers to repair any damage to bunkers. Sunshine is forecast for Sunday.”
The first round played on May 8 was also affected by the rain, but players were able to complete the course. The 30-year-old MacRae carded an opening six-under-par 67 to end the day one stroke ahead of Denmark’s Malene Jorgensen and Gwladys Nocera of France.
Klara Spilkova of Czech Republic and Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden are tied for fourth at four under par, followed by Britain’s Charley Hull and French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez one stroke behind.
Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace got off to a rocky start with back-to-back bogeys, but rallied with a pair of birdies at the 14th and 15th to even the score.
She turned in two over after another brace of bogeys at the 17th and 18th, but the eight-time Ladies European Tour winner reeled in four birdies from the first to get in touch with first round pacesetter, MacRae.
Pace’s challenge was derailed by a triple on the par-four sixth and a bogey on seven, with the former number one eventually posting a 75 to finish eight shots behind MacRae.
MacRae’s 67 was her best round in 13 starts on the Ladies European Tour; she had previously led after the first round of the Mineks Ladies Classic at the same venue on the LET’s developmental circuit.
“I love the golf course. You have to be a reasonable length off the tee and straight and I did it most of the day, so I’m happy,” said MacRae.
The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open is the sixth tournament on the Ladies European Tour this year. It features an international field of 126 golfers from 32 different countries, including four amateurs from Turkey.
This year’s tournament is being broadcast live by international television channels for the first time, including Britain’s Sky Sport and Golf Channel of the United States.