Overnight leader Jade Schaeffer of France during the second round of the Ladies Open de Portugal at the Gramacho Golf Course, Algarve, Portugal. Picture: Tristan Jones/LET
Three South African golfers past the cut of this year’s Ladies Open de Portugal on the Algarve in Portugal are all within two shots of each other, with the experience of Laurette Maritz leading the pack, improving by one shot for a 36-hole total three-over par 147, ten shots off the lead.
 

The day two lead was shared by Frenchwomen Jade Schaeffer and Sophie Giquel, along with Swede Louise Stahle and Australia’s Joanne Mills, but the South African found the going more difficult.
 
Morgana Robbertze bowed out under the cut, her first round 76 followed by a second round 79. Last of the three still in the tournament was Lee-Anne Pace, who improved by one shot for a 149, a triple bogie on the fifth hole ruining opportunity for better play.
 
Stacy Lee Bregman shot two birdies to three bogies in her second round, and improved from a first day 75 for a shot at a respectable finish, but it was Maritz who posted the best overall position again.
 
Her double-bogie on at the start of the home nine blemished an otherwise ideal round, with birdies at the eighth and eighteen flags against a bogey on the ninth.
 
Meanwhile, the leading quartet were tied on seven-under-par after 36 holes at the Gramacho Pestana Golf Resort near Carvoeiro, leading by three strokes over Swede Johanna Westerberg.
 
Giquel and Stahle both carded best of day 67s while Mills had a 68 and Schaeffer a 69.

Stahle, who currently leads the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year race, for the best newcomer to the LET, carded six birdies and one bogey. She was pleased to have hit 17 fairways and 16 greens, with her longest putt from 20 feet.
 
“I’m excited. I’m playing very steady and according to my plan for each hole,” said 22-year-old Stahle, who joined the LET at the end of last year after turning professional in August 2005.
 
“The putter is working and I’m having a lot of fun. I have my coach on the bag Katarina Vangdal. We’re having a lot of fun so it’s hard to beat.”
 
“It’s just another year. To win is not an obligation; I don’t want to put that extra pressure on myself. Yesterday was exceptional; today is the same. I’m not under any illusions. I still want to keep my feet on the ground.
 
“I’m happy because I didn’t play great but I scored well today. I had four good birdies and only one bogey. Yesterday I had only 25 putts and today I had 30 putts. The difference is I hit 13 greens instead of 10 yesterday.”