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Meadow to take a break after hot streak turns cold

By Peter Hutcheon

There was to be no fairytale comeback for Stephanie Meadow after she suffered the first setback of her fledgling professional career by missing the cut at the Women's British Open last night.

She added a four over par 76 yesterday to her opening 77 to finish on nine over par, three shots off the cut mark.

Starting at five over, she know that a round in and around level par was likely to extend her stay at Royal Birkdale into the weekend.

But although she began steadily with seven straight pars, she dropped a shot at both the eighth and ninth holes to reach the turn seven over for the tournament, and 11 shots behind the leaders.

She made three more pars to the 12th, but dropped another shot on the par four 13th and, disappointingly, she took a six on the closing par five 18th.

Great things were expected from Meadow this week after her third place finishes in each of her first two professional tournaments, including the Women's US Open, and it was a disappointing end to that run of form.

She will at least be able to return home for a fortnight's break in Northern Ireland a couple of days earlier than planned before heading back to America.

Meadow was not the only one who suffered a disappointing two days on Merseyside.

Reigning US Open champion Michelle Wie also failed to make the cut, like Meadow finishing on nine over, as did rising British star Holly Clyburn.

And former winner Karen Stupples is also going home early after a very disappointing 81 yesterday.

American Mo Martin will take a three-shot lead into the weekend after a second successive three under round of 69 yesterday.

She covered the front nine in two under with birdies and the sixth and seventh holes then wobbled a little with dropped shots in the 11th and 12th holes but picked up two more birdies on the last four holes to get back to six under for the tournament.

Spain's Beatriz Recari birdied each of the last three holes to take a share of second place overnight with Korean So Yeon Ryu on three under.

"Links golf is always hard to predict," Ryu said.

"Even when I hit the great shots, it can still finish at the worst place. And when I hit the bad shots, they can still manage to finish close to the pin or thereabouts.

"So it's really important, whatever the result, we need to accept it and just keep working. Today I made a double-bogey on the second hole, but I knew it was just unlucky."

World number one and defending champion Stacy Lewis is one over, alongside two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko, the world number two, sits nine shots off the lead on four over, while overnight leader Ayako Uehara fell away badly with a round of 79 yesterday.

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