Golf: Hudson hits stride

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The Independent Online
LAURA DAVIES made the cut without a shot to spare but the Yorkshire amateur Rebecca Hudson had a day to remember with a second-round 69 in the Weetabix British Open here yesterday.

The 20-year-old Curtis Cup player, who opened with a 72 and has reached the halfway stage without dropping a shot, finished on five-under 141, four shots behind the leader, Iben Tinning. Hudson finished the leading British player alongside Staffordshire's Sue Strudwick, who added a 70 to her opening 71.

"I'm having a wonderful time and this is great experience," said Hudson, who has hardly played any golf in the past month as she has been suffering from chickenpox. "I'm still feeling a little tired and I'm needing about half a club more on every shot. I've got a lot of people here supporting me from Wheatley Golf Club. That makes it even better."

Davies was less happy after a 75 that left her on the final cut- off mark of one-over 147. However, she was relieved to make the weekend and promised: "I'll be going for it over the final two rounds. There are a couple of 66s out there."

Tinning, 25, added a 69 to her opening 68 and finished in style by holing a 40-yard sand wedge for an eagle three at the 514-yard 18th.

On nine-under 137, she finished two ahead of Maria Hjorth, the Swede who lost to Davies in a play-off for the McDonald's WPGA Championship of Europe at Gleneagles last weekend. Another shot back, the group of five included the ever-dangerous former world No 1 Annika Sorenstam. The Swede, who lost her top ranking to Australia's Karrie Webb in June, had a second-round 71 in her bid to win the title for the first time. "I've had a rather roller-coaster season, but this is a priority event for me," said the two-time runner-up.

Tinning, who said she had little luck in her first three seasons on the European Tour, certainly got lucky with the eagle at the last in her round of four under par, which also contained four birdies and two bogeys. She has recently been receiving help on the mental approach to the game from Arne Nilssen, a world-class Danish canoeist. "He has told me to believe I am lucky," she revealed.

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