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Rio Olympics: Stephanie Meadow learns her lesson to start firing up the leaderboard

By Ben Baker

Yesterday was more like it for Stephanie Meadow as the Jordanstown golfer belatedly got her Rio 2016 assault under way.

Meadow became one of the first female golfers to complete an 18-hole round at an Olympic Games for 116 years on Wednesday, but there was little else for the 24-year-old to cheer as she finished the day six over par.

But just 24 hours later she was climbing up the leaderboard as she opened her second round with three birdies in the opening five holes.

Read more: Rio Olympics 2016: Live blog, full events schedule and medals tables

Meadow added a further three through the back nine, although she did drop a shot at the 11th as well as seeing a birdie putt lip out of the hole on the 18th.

But she could have few complaints as she got her Olympic medal charge on track and she ended day two tied for 38th on one under par, nine shots off leader Inbee Park from South Korea.

And with two more days of action to come, Meadow was delighted to have a smile back on her face.

"This was a much better day," she said. "It would have been nice to get the birdie on 18 but I am climbing my way back to where I started which is great.

"I was just hitting the ball a lot better and I didn't have any big misses, that is what cost me in my first round. When I sat down and looked at that first round I had three really bad shots and that lost me the round.

"Fortunately I eliminated those and got the ball in the right places and I was able to get a good round going.

"It is nice that we still have two days left and that there is no cut like a normal tournament so we can still see what I can do on Friday and Saturday."

It was a good day for Ireland at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio with Leona Maguire shooting a six-under-par 65.

After an opening round of three over, that propelled Maguire (below) up the leaderboard and Meadow insists the Ireland camp is in confident mood.

"It is definitely a happy camp," she added. "Both of us were down after the first round. But both of us know we can play well and I was on the 14th or 15th when I heard she had shot six under and I am very proud."

Meanwhile, Charley Hull may have missed Justin Rose's moment of Olympic glory, but the 20-year-old is still benefiting from his experience as she seeks a golden British double.

Hull only arrived in Rio on Sunday evening, several hours after Rose had won the first Olympic golf gold medal for 112 years, but his caddie Mark Fulcher made sure to pass his extensive notes on the course to Team GB leader Jamie Spence, who in turn made them available to Hull and team-mate Catriona Matthew.

And the move has paid dividends as Hull and Matthew both carded second rounds of 66 to lie two and five shots respectively off the lead.

"I'm representing my country every week, but this week you know you're a part of the team, so it's good fun," said Hull. "Being on an Olympic leaderboard is pretty cool but I'm just trying to treat this like any other event."

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