Madelene Sagstrom is vying to become the fourth Swede to win the Women’s Australian Open, having joined Wei-Ling Hsu at the top of the leaderboard late on day two at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
The 26-year-old Sagstrom has played on the LPGA Tour full time since 2017 and collected just four top-10s from her 49 starts … She is ranked 121st in the world rankings and has never finished better than T30 at the Aussie Open.
But nobody – except perhaps Wei-Ling Hsu – has played better, or more positively, than Sagstrom as she enters the weekend at 10-under par for the championship.
“I’m just really happy … I literally have never rolled a putter better,” beamed Sagstrom, who carded five birdies during her bogey-free Friday.
“Getting to sleep on a tie for the lead on the LPGA, I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Sophie Gustafson was the most recent Swedish player to win our national open, defeating Karrie Webb by one shot at Yarra Yarra in 2001.
Speaking of the five-time champion …
Webb was unable to emulate her terrific play from the opening round – where she wound back the clock to shoot 67 – and eventually settled for two-over 74.
Still, the World Golf Hall of Famer enters the weekend sharing 17th place.
“I paid the penalty for a lot of my missed shots ... I'm disappointed not to play better and be close to the lead," said Webb, who mixed two birdies with three bogies and one double bogey.
RIGHT: Green embraces Sarah Kemp during the second round of the 2019 Women’s Australian Open. PHOTO: Mark Brake/Getty Images.
So, leading the Australian charge in third place and three shots back is Perth native Hannah Green.
The World No.144, who finished third at last year’s tournament, opened her round by birdieing the par-5 10th and made three-straight birdies from holes 18-2.
“I know I have a good past history the last two years of playing this event, so I definitely have good vibes when I come to Adelaide,” said the 22-year-old.
Joining Green in third place is former champion Haru Nomura (2016) and American Nelly Korda.
The World No.16 Korda played in the morning wave and shot the round of the day – together with Charley Hull – with her six-under 66.
“In the morning the ground is a bit softer and it's not as windy … So I had the opportunity to be more aggressive,” said Korda, who is the younger sister of 2012 Australian Open champion, Jessica.
Elsewhere, Australia’s highest-ranked golfer, Minjee Lee, sits alongside Webb at three-under after her round of 70.
So too does 20-year-old Gold Coaster Karis Davidson, after her rounds of 71 and 70.
Meanwhile, World No.1 Ariya Jutanugarn responded to her opening-round 76 with three-under 69 to get to one over for the week and T48.
But two-time major winner Lydia Ko posted five-over 77 and has missed the cut with her four-over total.