Elósegui moves clear in Spain
Tania Elósegui opened up a four-stroke lead on day two of the Open de España at La Quinta Golf Resort in Benahavis.
Tania Elósegui opened up a four-stroke lead over Beth Allen and Lee-Anne Pace on day two of the Open de España at La Quinta Golf Resort in Benahavis.
The 29-year-old from Spain hit a seven under par 65 in hot and breezy conditions to make an early move to 11 under par.
American Allen (68) and South African Pace (69) finished on seven under, while Australian rookie professional Stacey Keating (69) ended a stroke behind.
Overnight leader Becky Brewerton of Wales found the second round harder going, following her opening 67 with a round of 72 to sit at five under for the tournament.
Italian Stefania Croce, Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and England’s Melissa Reid made it into a group at four under par.
Elósegui – who won her sole Ladies European Tour title at the 2009 ABN AMRO Ladies Open in the Netherlands – is hoping to become the first home winner in the 30-year history of the tournament.
She made seven birdies including four on the back nine. “I’m just so happy to be leading right now but I’m not thinking about winning,” said Elósegui, from San Sebastian.
“I am very pleased with my round today. I was more consistent than yesterday and the greens were rolling a little bit better.”
Elósegui’s best finish from 12 starts this season was a tie for seventh at the UniCredit Ladies German Open in May. Her form has not been at its best since 2009, when she ranked fifth on the LET after taking her first win and nine other top-10 finishes, but she credited her coach, Marta Figueras Dotti, who was on caddie duties: “She is helping me a lot out there, especially mentally.”
Dotti is a retired Spanish professional golfer who won the 1982 Women’s British Open as an amateur. She played on the LPGA from 1984 to 2000 earning one win at the 1994 Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open. Nowadays she is a coach for the Spanish national amateur team.
Allen, from San Diego, California, began with a bogey on the 11th and a double on the 13th, but picked up seven birdies.
She said: “I started off pretty poorly today so I’m happy to have shot four under because in the first five holes I was three over so I was seven under for my last 12. I just made a bunch of birdies coming in and even left a few out there, so I’m pleased.”
Pace, from Mossel Bay, made three birdies to two bogeys before adding an eagle at the par-five 16th.
“I had a steady front nine: one birdie and only steady pars the rest of the way. I hit 16 greens and managed to make an eagle after a bogey, so I was pretty happy with that. It was a good finish: two under in the last three holes,” Pace said.
First year professional Carlota Ciganda from Pamplona was the next best placed Spanish player at one under along with local player Laura Cabanillas from Benahavis.
Ciganda shot 67 after mixing seven birdies with two bogeys and said: “Yesterday was a really long day and I started really bad with two doubles and one bogey so I was five over after five holes. It was hard to make birdies. It was much more wind and I didn’t putt well. Today my putting was great and I was much more confident.
“I really like playing here and I really like the atmosphere when people are here watching me and my dad and some friends are here so it’s really nice to have them. I just love playing in my country. I love Spain and everything is great here.”
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