Friday, February 10, 2017


Nicole Broch Larsen

Great Dane Larsen lead leads Vic Open by two - without a caddie!


No caddie, no worries is the laid back attitude of Denmark's Nicole Broch Larsen after surging into the lead heading into the Oates Victorian Ladies Open third round.

Larsen pulled her own buggy for back-to-back 67s to be 12-under 134 around 13th Beach golf links' 36 holes lay-out at Barwon Heads on the Bellarine Peninsula, east of Geelong.

"I don't really need a caddie. I just need someone to talk to me on the course, just be there. As you can see, I'm pretty good on my own," she said.

She has a two-shot buffer over Australians Su Oh and Whitney Hillier, England's Holly Clyburn and Germany's Sandra Gal.

Larsen is staying with a family at Ocean Grove, the next seaside town, and the father is a member at 13th Beach.

"Maybe my host can help out, otherwise I'll have to find a local one," she said.

Larsen is transitioning from the Ladies European tour to the US this year after finishing tied 24th at the LPGA qualifying school.

"I'm trying to find one (caddie). I have a conditional card on the LPGA and it's hard to find a regular caddie because obviously they want a full-card LPGA player. So I'm trying to get my full card and, hopefully, sort it out from there."

Larsen headed to the practice range after a phone conversation with her coach despite mastering the Creek and then the Beach courses in the past two days.

"I'm not striking the ball as I want. Even though it's not perfect, I've got to live with that," she said.

"I think the greens are a bit more tricky on the Beach. The par-fives are still reachable, so there's still birdie chances, but it plays a bit longer.

"I hit 16 greens today and 17 yesterday, so it's good going even though I don't think I'm striking the ball well."

Clyburn's four-under 69 was a stark contrast to playing partner Laura Davies, the first-round leader who struggled to recover from a disastrous start.

Davies gave back five shots in the first five holes on the Beach course, including a double bogey at the par-four fourth.

She leaked another stroke at the 10th before steadying with birdies at the 13th and downwind par-five 14th to eventually sign for a three-over 76 to slip seven shots off the pace to T18 on 141 alongside Falkirk-based American Beth Allen (71-70) who leads the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit.

South Korean amateur Hye-Jin Choi, who played alongside the two experienced Britons, performed admirably under the spotlight with a second round 69 to be nine-under, only three strokes from the lead.

"Yesterday was a relaxing group and everyone was smiling, but it was different today because we knew what we had to do with some early scores coming in," Clyburn said.

Oh produced the low round of the day with a course record-equalling eight-under 65 to be joint second and it's a jammed leaderboard with 12 players within five shots of leader Larsen.

Three Scots made the second-round cut to the leading 60 and ties at 146 and better.

Carly Booth (72-68) is T14 on 140.
Michele Thomson (69-74) is T26 on 143.
Kylie (Walker) Henry (75-71) is T57 on 146.

There will be another cut to the leading 35 and ties after 54 holes.

Scots who have been eliminated so far are Aberdonian Gemma Dryburgh (78-70) on 148 and Nairn's Kelsey Macdonald on 153 (78-75).

par 146 (2x73)
134 Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 67 67.
137 Sandra Gal (Ger) 67 69, Whitney Hillier (Aus) 67 69,Su Oh (Aus) 71 65,Holly Clyburn (Eng) 67 69.

137 Melissa Reid (Eng) 67 70 (T6)
139 Hannah Burke (Eng) 70 69 (T10)
140 Florentyna Parker (Eng) 71 69, Carly Booth (Sco) 72 68 (T14).
141 Beth Allen (USA) 71 70, Laura Davies (Eng) 65 76 (T18).
143 Felicity Johnson (Eng) 71 72, Michele Thomson (Sco) 69 74,Charlotte Thomas (Eng) 73 70, Annabel Dimmock (Eng) 71 72 (T28).
146 Kylie (Walker) Henry (Sco) 75 71, Sophie Walker (Eng) 75 71 (T57).

MISSED THE CUT (146 and better qualified)
147 Sarah Jane Boyd (Eng) 74 73
148 Gemma Dryburgh (Sco) 78 70
149 Becky Morgan (Wal) 78 71
152 Lydia Hall (Wal) 78 74, Amy Boulden (Wal) 76 76.
153 Kelsey Macdonald (Sco) 78 75.