X

Women's British Open 2019: Ashleigh Buhai Leads by 3 Strokes After Round 2

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

WOBURN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa lines up a putt on the 15th green during Day Two of the AIG Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club on August 02, 2019 in Woburn, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Ashleigh Buhai moved into a three-shot lead at the halfway point of the Women's British Open on Friday.

After shooting seven under and taking the lead on Day 1, the South African backed that up with a five-under-par round of 67, leaving her an impressive 12 under for the tournament at the Marquess' Course at Woburn Golf and Country Club.

Buhai will go out in the final pairing with Hinako Shibuno on Saturday. The Japanese is three shots back after her 69, with Lizette Salas a further shot behind.

Here's how the scoreboard shapes up ahead of what promises to be an absorbing weekend of action and a closer look at some of the standout performances from Friday.

      

Women's British Open

-12: Ashleigh Buhai

-9: Hinako Shibuno

-8: Lizette Salas

-7: Celine Boutier, Bronte Law, Caroline Masson, Charley Hull, Sung Hyun Park

LPGA @LPGA

.@ash_simon takes a 3-stroke lead into the weekend @AIGWBO with some major champions lurking... #NECLPGAStats https://t.co/wZJvmQPYW0

    

Full leaderboard is available on the LPGA website.

       

Day 2 Recap

Having set the pace with a fantastic 65 on Thursday, Buhai was there to be shot at in the second round, as she was out in one of the day's later groups.

After a 66 herself on Day 1, Shibuno unsurprisingly took up the challenge with gusto. Birdies at the second, third and fifth offset a bogey at the fourth, putting her on eight under par for the tournament and into the lead.

An early Buhai birdie saw her match that score, and while the Japanese made eight pars on the back nine, she did hole a big putt at the 16th to get back in front:

LPGA @LPGA

Hinako Shibuno is the solo leader at 9-under! Watch the @AIGWBO on @GolfChannel now! https://t.co/La5VtmOcLF

The 30-year-old was not daunted by the challenge, though, as she saved her best form on the day for the final nine holes.

Buhai was solid enough through the front nine before a birdie at the 11th put her back on terms with Shibuno. From there, she kicked on and made the most of the ideal conditions late in the day.

On 13, Buhai made an excellent putt from off the fringe of the green, starting a run of three birdies in four holes:

LPGA @LPGA

.@ash_simon takes the lead at the @AIGWBO! She's 10-under with five holes to play. Watch on @GolfChannel! https://t.co/T2tSgY250j

The South African put daylight between herself and her rivals. If she performs to the same standards over the weekend, it's tough to see how anyone will stop Buhai from clinching her maiden major title.

It's unlikely she'll have things all her own way over the weekend, though, with a number of quality players within striking distance.

Shibuno has already shown that she is up for the battle. Sung Hyun Park, the world No. 2, is in a group of players who are five shots off the pace. Jin Young Ko, the world No. 1, is six under at the halfway point too.