Lydia Leads but Open Champ Kobori looms Large

David Tease
April 1, 2023

All eyes at Bonville Golf Resort on Sunday could be on Momoka Kobori after she raced up the leaderboard during the second round of the Australian Women’s Classic – Bonville.

The winner of last week’s Women’s NSW Open carded the equal best round of the day with a 3-under to climb up to ninth position and be within just four strokes of leader Lydia Hall.

Kobori could be even closer if it weren’t for an unfortunate three-putt bogey on her last hole.

Chasing down Hall could prove a difficult task though.

Hall made three birdies in her final five holes to vault the Ladies European Tour and WPGA Tour of Australasia winner to the top of the lead.

The Welshwoman needed just 25 putts today to also shoot a 3-under 69 to see her reach 4-under, one stroke clear of Victorian Stephanie Bunque, New Zealander Wenyung Keh and Sydney-sider Breanna Gill.

Hall said being more aggressive with her putting stroke today was the key behind her great round.

“You know here that more often than not they go with the slope so you’ve just got to trust the line that you pick and that’s kind of what I went with today. I missed a few on the low side yesterday so I just went a little bit more aggressive with my pace,” Hall said.

“It was a little bit too aggressive sometimes but nothing more than two or three feet coming back.

“That was the goal coming into today just being a little bit more aggressive with the putts and it worked.”

Overnight leader Bunque produced a more consistent round today than her roller coaster first day and it was enough to keep her within reach thanks to a scrappy 73.

“I’m glad that I hung in tough. I could’ve had anything from 1-over to 10-over today, it was honestly that bad,” Bunque said.

“I’m really proud of myself for hanging in there and one shot behind is like nothing in golf terms. I’m still right up there and I’m feeling excited for the challenge and the chase tomorrow.” 

Gill and Keh both shot a 71 to also be just one stroke behind the leader.

For Keh, she admits being near the top of the leaderboard with just 18 holes to play is a rare experience for her.

“I don’t know when the last time that I was in contention. It was back when I was an amateur, it’s been so long,” she recalled.

“I think the last time was the Asia Pacific Amateur and that was probably five years ago.”

Gill has been one of the most consistent players on the WPGA Tour of Australasia this summer and she’s hoping the consistency can continue for one more round.

“My game plan out here is just to really focus on my lines, pick my trees off the tee that I’m trying to hit it towards and go through my routine,” Gill said.

Thailand’s Cholcheva Wongras, Danni Vasquez from Wollongong and amateurs Ella Scaysbrook and Sarah Hammett are a further stroke behind on 1-under to be part of the small group of just eight players to be in red figures ahead of the final round.

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