CONWY, Wales – Sweden’s Carin Koch shot 4-under 68 Friday to edge ahead of the field at the halfway point of the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.
Koch carded five birdies and one bogey on a windy afternoon at Conwy Golf Club to move a stroke ahead of Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands.
Koch, a three-time winner on LPGA and LET tours, fired three birdies on the front nine and then birdied the long 10th. She dropped a shot at the 14th but recovered with a birdie on 18.
1 142 | Carin Koch (SWE) 2 143 | Christel Boeljon (NL) 3= 144 | Vikki Laing (SCO), Melissa Reid (ENG) 5 145 | Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 6= 146 | Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA), Sahra Hassan (WAL), Becky Brewerton (WAL), Anja Monke (GER) 10= 147 | Elizabeth Bennett (ENG), Karen Stupples (ENG), Federica Piovano (ITA)
1 142 | Carin Koch (SWE)
2 143 | Christel Boeljon (NL)
3= 144 | Vikki Laing (SCO), Melissa Reid (ENG)
5 145 | Lee-Anne Pace (SA)
6= 146 | Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA), Sahra Hassan (WAL), Becky Brewerton (WAL), Anja Monke (GER)
10= 147 | Elizabeth Bennett (ENG), Karen Stupples (ENG), Federica Piovano (ITA)
“I had a really good day and made some really good putts out there and played solid,” said Koch, whose last tournament victory was at the 2005 Corona Morelia Championship.
“I like to play in tough conditions because it makes you focus a bit more,” she added. “It’s a different kind of game.”
Boeljon, a second-year pro, matched three birdies with three bogeys for an even-par round of 72.
“I had a bogey, bogey finish and that’s a little disappointing, but overall I think I’m playing well,” Boeljon said.
Overnight leader Vikki Laing of Scotland shot 74 and dropped back to third, tied with Melissa Reid of England, who shot 68. Laing was 2-under after 16 but double-bogeyed the tough par-4 17th.
Reid, who won the 2007 British Amateur Championship at Conwy, knows the course well and is eying her second win on tour.
South African Lee-Anne Pace, the Ladies Swiss Open champion, carded a 71 to finish the day in fifth at 1-over par.
Becky Brewerton, from nearby Abergele, shot 69 and is tied with three others for sixth place.
Local amateur Amy Boulden, 17, added an 81 to her opening 72, but was one of six Welsh players to make the cut along with Becky Morgan, Jo Pritchard, Sahra Hassan, Lydia Hall and Brewerton.
The 2009 champion Karen Stupples was five shots off the lead with fellow Englishwoman Elizabeth Bennett and Italian Federica Piovano. The 2001 champion Helen Alfredsson of Sweden was a shot further back, with England’s Laura Davies seven shots off the lead at 5-over.
Ladies European Tour contributed to this report.