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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Gwladys Nocera, 12 under par after
two rounds, leads by four shots

Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera fired a seven-under-par 65 at the ABN AMRO Ladies Open in Holland today to take a four-stroke lead heading into the final round.
Nocera, who won the tournament by seven shots last year, began the day tied for the lead on five-under-par with compatriot Jade Schaeffer, but finished the day with the outright lead on a 12-under-par two-round total. Schaeffer slipped down the leader board into a share of 15th on three-under-par after a 74.
Defending champion Nocera, 33, pulled ahead with seven birdies and no bogeys on an overcast day at Eindhovensche Golf just outside Eindhoven.
“Regarding the way I am playing I think I can win this tournament. Now I have to play tomorrow and see what happens,” said Nocera, who is aiming for her seventh LET victory after securing the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open five weeks ago.
Nocera said she had been thinking about breaking her own course record, an eight-under 64, set on the same golf course last year. “Last year I shot eight-under on the first round and I just thought, “Maybe I could shoot nine; that would be nice,” the two-time Solheim Cup player said. English rookie Melissa Reid is Nocera’s closest challenger on eight-under-par 136 after two rounds of 68. Reid finished third in February’s MFS Women’s Australian Open and believes she can win the tournament.
“It's four shots which is nothing,” said the Derbyshire rookie 20-year-old pro. “I know Gwladys and I have great respect for the girl. She knows how to win and it’s just going to be a really good experience for me tomorrow. I would love to get one on her but if she shoots low I’ve got to shoot four lower so it’s me to catch her.”
Reid is currently ranked 14th in Europe, whereas Nocera is second, but she is the LET’s leading first-year player and is highly motivated. “Basically I wake up every morning and train because I want to be the best that I can be,” said Reid. “I do want to win majors and I do want to be the best player in the world. That’s really what motivates me: being the best player that I can be.
“I played pretty well today. I hit the ball good but no putts dropped for me on the back nine which was a bit disappointing. Hopefully they will drop tomorrow.”
Denmark’s Lisa Holm Sorensen was alone in third position on seven-under-par after a 65, five shots behind the leader. Sorensen, the 2005 Finnish Masters champion, now in her fourth year on the LET, attributed her eight birdies to a hot putter.
“I had 23 putts and I kind of trusted it. I started to knock them to the back of the hole and that worked for me,” she said. Three years on from her sole LET title, Sorensen said of her title chances:
“I think Gwladys is playing well. Of course I’m going to go for it but I’m just focusing on keeping myself in this position right now. I think she will have to make mistakes not me having to make five birdies against five pars. I will go for it but that’s not what I’m thinking about really. She’s too good.”
England’s Kirsty S Taylor (67) and France’s Anne-Lise Caudal (70) shared fourth on six-under-par. Taylor is playing with a painful and strapped up left leg as she has a suspected hole in her knee cap after falling over on concrete four weeks ago. “I’ve got to get a scan at some point. There’s a bit of a hole in my knee cap and the plates might be splitting but we’re not too sure at the moment so I’m just trying to get through the next three weeks,” said Taylor.
England’s Sophie Walker, Spain’s Paula Marti and Italy’s Veronica Zorzi were one shot back in a share of sixth place. Meanwhile, England’s Henrietta Zuel retired after 27 holes with a bad back.

Par 144 (2 x 72)
132 G Nocera (Fra) 67 65.
136 M Reid (Eng) 68 68.
137 L Holm Sorensen (Den) 72 65, A-L Caudal (Fra) 68 69.
138 K S Taylor (Eng) 71 67.
139 P Marti (Spa) 69 70, S Walker (Eng) 70 69, V Zorzi (Ita) 70 69.
Other scores:
140 F Johnson (Eng) 69 71 (jt 9th).
141 Lisa Hall (Eng) 71 70, N C Booth (Eng) 73 68, R Coakley (Ire)v 68 73 (jt 16th).
142 C Coughlan-Ryan (Ire) 73 69, C Queen (Sco) 70 72.
143 B Brewerton (Wal) 72 71 (jt 30th).
144 J Morley (Eng) 71 73, L Shervill (Eng) 71 73, E McKinnon (NZ) 70 74 (jt 39th).
146 D Masters (Eng) 73 73 (jt 54th).
147 E Lyons (Eng) 75 72.
148 S Dickens (Eng) 77 71.
149 H Kavanagh (Ire) 73 76, J Clingan (Eng) 76 73, J Pritchard (Wal) 74 75.
150 K Imrie (Sco) 78 72, K Matharu (Eng) 74 76.
151 C Grady (Eng) 73 78, L Kenny (Sco) 74 77.
152 G Simpson (Eng) 75 77.
154 J Wilson (Sco) 77 77.
155 C Hall (Eng) 77 78.
160 S Morgan (Eng) 80 80.
165 K J Fisher (Eng) 85 80.
Retired: H Zuel (Eng) 78 -