Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Matthew two clear

Catriona Matthew leads the Ladies Irish Open at the halfway stage

Scotland's Catriona Matthew remained at the top of the Ladies Irish Open leaderboard at the halfway stage after a one-under-par 71.

The 42-year-old had three birdies on the front nine but faltered somewhat thereafter and finished the day on six-under-par overall for a two-shot lead over compatriot Carly Booth and Spain's Pernilla Lindberg.

Eight-time tournament champion Matthew picked up two shots on her back nine but a pair of bogeys and a double undermined her round.

"I'm a little bit disappointed. I played well on the front nine and then just a bad drive on 17 cost me a double: one under, so not too bad," she said afterwards.

"I've never had the umbrella up and down so much. It was up and it was down and now the sun's out, so who knows. To be honest it wasn't too bad."

Lindberg, looking for her first victory as a professional, could have leapfrogged Matthew but she too struggled on the back nine.

After birdies on the sixth, seventh and 10th holes, the 26-year-old was on seven under overall but three bogeys took her back to four under alongside Booth, who jumped nine places and into a tie for second after carding 69.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen is a shot further back after also going round the Killeen Castle in three-under-par, while Elizabeth Bennett is two strokes adrift of the Norwegian.

England's Felicity Johnson is one of three players on level par, with a further six on one over for the tournament.

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