Green runs hot to lead Australian Open

December 02, 2022 04:13 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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History-making Hannah Green is on track to add a second dual-gender title to her prized mixed-gender trophy after snaring the Australian Open halfway lead in Melbourne.

Green burst from a star-studded pack to claim a two-stroke advantage over the field with a sublime six-under-par 66 at Victoria Golf Club on Friday.

With five birdies and a brilliant eagle two after driving the par-4 15th hole, Green surged to 11 under for the championship to seize control.

The 2019 Women's US PGA champion enjoys a two-stroke buffer over former world No.1 Jiyai Shin, who posted a second straight 68 playing alongside Green.

Fellow Korean former world No.1 So Yeon Ryu and South Africa's reigning British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai are a shot further back in a tie for third after posting a pair of 68s at nearby Kingston Heath, the Open's co-host course.

Green's fellow West Australian major winner Minjee Lee climbed into a share of sixth at five under with a second-round 70 at Kingston Heath.

But it is Green that everyone must catch.

In February, the 25-year-old became the first woman to win a 72-hole mixed-gender tournament on any of the world's leading golf tours after romping to a four-stroke victory at the Class at the TPS Murray River.

A mixed-gender competition is when men and women compete against each other.

Revelling sharing the fairways with the men, Green also won the dual-gender Vic Open the previous week and shapes as the player to beat on the Melbourne sandbelt over the weekend.

Green could have been even further ahead had she converted a five-foot eagle putt at the last after almost holing out for two on the par-5 18th.

First-round leader Grace Kim retained her advantage for much of the front nine on Friday before racking up a double bogey on the eighth to fall back to six under.

The 21-year-old Sydney sensation, still on a high after graduating for next year's LPGA Tour in September, was at six under and in outright fifth late in her round.

Buhai, who tamed the famous Scottish links of Muirfield to land her maiden major in July, said she felt right at home following her blemish-free display.

"It's always a good day when you can go on any of these courses bogey-free," the South African said.

"Front nine, which was the back nine for me, was a little slow this morning but I got into the rhythm nicely on the back nine.

"I love sandbelt courses because I like to flight the ball, so you know you can kind of hit a mid flight and let it feed out.

"It plays a bit like a links and I kind of like links golf."


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