Queen Sirikit Cup: Sarah Hammett leads Australia to the front
Sarah Hammett (Golf Australia Photo)
Sarah Hammett (Golf Australia Photo)

Sarah Hammett fired the round of the tournament during the second round of the 44th Queen Sirikit Cup, catapulting Australia into the top position with two rounds to play at Clearwater Golf Club.

The Aussies hold a three-shot lead at 2-over to lead the event’s most successful nation, Korea, by three shots after an impressive day in challenging conditions, where the Canterbury north-easterly winds gusted upwards of 30km an hour for the second straight day.

Hammett's 5-under 67 round sees her lead the individual standings at 3-under following her round of 2-over 74 yesterday. Her second round was the best by four strokes, with only three others breaking par, including Hyosong Lee, who helped Korea to a one-under total today to leave them five-over for the tournament, as well as Japan’s Saori Lijima and Thailand’s Achiraya Sriwong.

Japan sits third on seven-over after combining for even-par in round two, with round one leaders Chinese Taipei slipping to fourth after shooting five-over. The hosts, New Zealand, also struggled to finish their second rounds, falling three places to equal fifth with Thailand at nine-over.

Hammett is currently ranked No. 122 in the Golfweek/ World Rankings.

However, Hammett’s round was the talk of the town as she leapt up the leaderboard to take the midway ascendency, making an impressive seven birdies and a pair of bogeys.

She says a hot putter was the key to her incredible day.

“I started off really steadily. I didn’t hole too many putts initially and missed a few in the first few holes. Once I got to No. 14, I holed a nice one for birdie, and the putts started to drop from there, and I ended up being able to put a really good score together.”

Hammett adapted to the gusts quickly on her first visit to New Zealand. After being hit by the cool temperatures on Monday, she made sure to dress warmly during the first two rounds and even bought a beanie from the club’s pro shop to ensure she was equipped to battle the cold.

She says she learned a lot from round one, which certainly helped her scorecard today.

“I played more strategically today with the wind. Yesterday, I guess I tried to play how I did in the practice round. The wind started to pick over the back nine yesterday, whereas today, it was windy the entire time.

“After yesterday, I took the wind into consideration much more with what clubs to hit and not going for every pin.”

Her teammate Justice Bosio carded her second counting score with an even-par 72, putting her in a share of seventh individually with a five-over total.

Although they’re leading by three, the Aussies will have a battle on their hands on Friday and Saturday, with the 22-time winners lurking in second. Shihyun Kim and Hyosong Lee sit in solo second and third. They combined for one-under today as they search for an incredible 23rd title and are motivated to make a dent in Australia’s lead over the next two rounds.

“It would be great to win this tournament. I really want to win because I love this golf course and this tournament,” Kim explains.

New Zealand’s Eunseo Choi and Chinese Taipei’s Ping-Hua Hsieh join Korea’s Lee in third individually.

Results: Queen Sirikit Cup
1KoreaSoomin OhKorea70076-73-69-65=283
2AustraliaSarah HammettAustralia50074-67-76-70=287
3KoreaHyosong LeeKorea40076-71-72-70=289
4KoreaShi Hyun KimKorea40074-72-76-68=290
5New ZealandVivian LuNew Zealand40076-74-69-72=291

View full results for Queen Sirikit Cup

ABOUT THE Queen Sirikit Cup

Also known as the Amateur Ladies Asia-Pacific Invitational Team Championship. Teams of 3 players representing 15 different countries play 72 holes of stroke play competition.

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