CAITRIONA MATTHEW CONTINUES to lead the way at the Ladies Irish Open after a solid second round of 71.
Best of the Irish is Cavan amateur Leona Maguire who had a level par round. She sits at +8 and is 14 shots adrift of Matthew.
The tournament-leading Scot carded five birdies and two bogeys in her round but was once again left cursing the 17th hole.
She was -8 standing at the tee on 17 but could only escape with a double bogey six after a wayward drive. She got a par on the last hole and leads by two.
Her compatriot, Carly Booth had a round of 69 to put herself in a strong position going into the final two rounds on -4.
Booth had a fantastic round, picking up five shots in 15 holes, but there was a double bogey blemish at the par three 16th.
Leona Maguire’s round was a marked improvement on her opening day 80.
She also found the front nine more favourable and picked up birdies on the third and seventh holes. Bogeys on 15 and 16 tempered the excitement that was brewing in the sizeable home crowd that tracked the 17-year-old’s progress.
Lisa Maguire, the twin of Leona, was forced to retire but will have enjoyed the experience of mingling with some of Europe’s finest golfers at Killeen Castle.
Next best of the Irish was Rececca Codd, who shot 74 to sign off for a two round total of +10. Danielle McVeigh was +12 and Tara Delaney was further back at +17.
Pernilla Linberg was level par on Saturday and is also at -4, alongside Booth, while Suzann Pettersen of Norway is on -3 following a 69.