First-round leader Ashleigh Buhai shot a second round 71 to head into Saturday chasing Germany’s Karolin Lampert by one at the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.
Buhai dropped three shots on the way home to surrender her advantage at Westlake.
‘I thought I played very steady on my front nine, which was the back nine today,’ said Buhai.
‘I had a steady start and hit some good shots. It ran a little long in the first few holes. I got myself in a little downward spiral on the last four holes and made three birdies, but I saw the leader was on five under, so I really wanted to make that birdie on nine and holed a really good birdie to do that.’
She admitted to feeling a little deflated after undoing some of her earlier work.
‘I’ve got mixed emotions right now. I’m a little disappointed as I got it to six under for the tournament. I’d rather get it out of the way today and tomorrow we can build on it. I feel if I can just keep doing what I’m doing I’ll have a chance. I felt good today.
‘We had some great weather and we’ve been really blessed the last two days, so hopefully it can stay like this tomorrow.’
The woman she is chasing, Karolin Lampert, grabbed the initiative in benign and gloriously sunny conditions.
Lampert consolidated her opening round with a solid 69 to hold the clubhouse lead at -5.
The German pro, who is playing in her first start of the season after an extended break, was thrilled with how she consolidated her opening round at Westlake.
‘I’m really happy with my game today,’ she said.
‘My long game was much better than yesterday so I’m really happy about that and looking forward to tomorrow. It was perfect, no spike marks and the sun was shining so it was great to go out early and post a low round. I’m really happy about where my game is. I played solidly the last two days. I’m looking forward to playing with Ashleigh and it will be fun, so we’ll see who ends up on top.’
The 23-year-old from Golf Club St. Leon Rot is looking for her first Ladies European Tour title in the national Open, which is jointly sanctioned with the WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour.
England’s Florentyna Parker, who played with Buhai, was the next-best placed player in the clubhouse after a second consecutive round of 72.
Tandi McCallum is South Africa’s next best in a share of seventh place at +1 through 36 with Stacy Bregman one back of that mark.
Lee-Anne Pace dropped just one shot on Friday for a 69 as she reversed her opening round blues and then some. Pace was nine shots better in round two as she moved into the pile at +3 which includes compatriot Lejan Lewthwaite.
Photo: Thinus Maritz/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images