Channel NewsAsia

Golf: Martin in control at British Open as Wie misses cut

While many of the bigger names struggled in the tough conditions, American Mo Martin, the world number 99, shot a second straight three under 69 to take a three shot lead at the British Open.

SOUTHPORT, United Kingdom: While many of the bigger names struggled in the tough conditions, American Mo Martin, the world number 99, shot a second straight three under 69 to take a three shot lead at the British Open on Friday.

Beatriz Recari, the Spanish Solheim Cup player, shared second place at Royal Birkdale on three under with South Korea's Ryu So Yeon.

While the deep rough caused havoc, Californian Martin mastered the conditions with six birdies, including one at the long par five 18th where she was just off the green in two and two-putted for four.

"I think this is a fantastic course," said the 31-year-old who has won three times on the US Futures Tour but has yet to taste success in three seasons on the LPGA circuit.

"I don't hit it long but accuracy is my strength."

It's not been a happy start to the season for Recari. She's suffered with a bad hip and poor form and she arrived at Royal Birkdale with a wrist injury.

But most of her woes were banished when she put together a great five under par second round 67, the joint best of the Championship, and it included a string of three birdies at the end.

Recari had a fleeting visit to St Andrews last Sunday for a sponsor's day ahead of her trip to Birkdale.

But her flight from Scotland to England was delayed for a day and she blamed her struggles with heavy luggage for the wrist problem.

"I had to carry four pieces of luggage, said the 27-year-old.

"Two women tried to help me but I wouldn't let them because they are really heavy. But the men at Edinburgh airport were not very gentlemanly.

"Luckily the physios at Birkdale did a great job and my wrist was pain-free by Wednesday."

Ryu, the 2011 US Women's Open Champion, had a 70. "I love links courses because you have so many options with the shots," she said.

"That's why I want to win the British Open."

Michelle Wie, the US Women's Open Champion, was the biggest casualty among those who failed to make the cut that fell on six over par.

Yani Tseng's demise also continued. The former world number one and the champion when the Championship last visited Birkdale in 2010, the Taiwanese player had a 72 but was still four shots too many.

Wie finished joint third on her British Open debut as a 15-year-old amateur in 2005. But a three putt for par at the 18th in a round of 78 for nine over par summed up her two days.

"A few too many bad tee shots and a lot missed putts," were the reasons she gave for her early exit. "It really sucks. It's a long time since I had a week like this."

Stacy Lewis, the defending champion, had her highs and lows but a 74 for one over par kept the world number one well in the hunt for the final 36-holes.

She holed a few monster putts in her tally of six birdies but a double-bogey six at the 16th rather ruined her day.

Two amateurs finished among the leading bunch. England's Georgia Hall was the top home player on one over after a 72 and American Emma Talley was on the same mark after a 73.

Lexi Thompson, who won the season's first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, opened with a ten after hitting two tee shots out of bounds at the par four first.

But she battled her way to a 77 and safely made the cut on five over par.

First round leader Ayako Uehara didn't find day two so easy. She took 11 shots more than her opening 68 and slipped down the field to three over par.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia