Gwladys Nocera has joined 1st round leader Joanna Klatten at the top of the leaderboard at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France. The 2nd round was as hot and humid as the 1st, but the unseasonably warm conditions didn’t seem to slow Nocera.
The former European #1 ranked player and 11-time LET champion drew a large gallery at the Chantaco Golf Club. She carded 5 birdie putts on the front nine, then picked up 3 more birdies on the back nine and gave back 1 stroke with a bogey on the 14th hole. Nocera cut 4 shots off her 1st round score of 67 and claimed her share of the mid-tournament lead at -10.
I started on the first tee and hit my shot really close, made an easy birdie, then hit the ball really well and made a few putts early on so it gave me good confidence. I know I’m hitting the ball really well at the moment so it’s a matter of making putts. It happened today so it’s a big bonus.
Gwladys Nocera, Lacoste Ladies Open de France 2nd Round Co-Leader
Klatten held on to her 1st round lead with 4 birdies and an eagle on the par-5 15th hole, giving back a stroke with a bogey on 13 for a final 2nd round score of 66. Klatten’s long drives and accurate putts are serving her well. Over the season the Parisian’s game has improved significantly. In 2011 she was ranked 82nd on the LET, then 25th in 2012, and now holds a ranking of 21st on the 2013 LET Order of Merit. Her highest finish in 3 years on the LET came in July at the Spanish Open. Now there’s a victory in sight.
I’m very happy with my round and very happy with how I handled things today . . . I feel really good about my game so I don’t really have that much pressure
Joanna Klatten, Lacoste Ladies Open de France 2nd Round Co-Leader
Five players are within 5 shots of the lead established by the French pair going into the 3rd round at the Lacoste.
South African Lee-Anne Pace, playing at the Lacoste with victories in Turkey and Spain, would like to collect a 3rd LET win before the LET heads for Asia. She played a bogey-free round, went to the clubhouse today at -8 for the tournament, and actually out played Klatten by a stroke in the 2nd round.
Immediately below Klatten and also intent on spoiling the French Fun, Solheim stars, Charley Hull, Azahara Munoz and Valentine Derrey finished the 2nd round at -7. Derrey made a particularly strong showing at the Helsingborg Open last month, finishing in 3rd place, and Hull and Munoz are fearless, aggressive players.
There are still 36 holes of golf to play at the Lacoste and with greens that, according to Munoz, “move quite a lot” and are difficult to judge, anything could happen tomorrow and Sunday. Hull could get a better read on her putts. Munoz could hit more fairways. Pace could shave another putt or two off her game and glide right past Nocera and Klatten. A -10 lead isn’t secure at mid-tournament.
Two Americans, Beth Allen and Mallory Fraiche, made the 2nd round cut at the Lacoste. Allen went to the clubhouse after the 2nd round at -3 for the tournament and is within reach of a top-1o finish. Fraiche, at +1, is less likely to finish in the money.
Bon jeu, madames et mademoiselles!