ST ANDREWS (AFP) - Japan's Miki Saiki had a bundle of new experiences as she surged into the halfway lead on nine-under-par at the women's British Open at St Andrews on Friday.
An early starter, Saiki overtook American Morgan Pressel to set the early target. Pressel, joint first-round leader on 66, added a 70 for eight-under-par.
It was the first time she had led in a Major, the first time that she had twice holed out for eagle twos in the same round and she judged her second round six-under-par 66 as the best of her career.
"Because it is a Major and we are here at the Old Course and surrounded by so much history then it must rate as my best ever round," she assessed.
Not that the 28-year-old is a stranger to low scores over the famous links.
Back in the 2007 Women's British Open, she carded a 67 in the final round and finished tied seventh.
On a day that had rain, wind and then a drying sun, Saiki's highlights were easy to pick out.
At the 371-yard fourth, she holed her eight iron second shot from 127 yards. At the 353-yard seventh, she repeated the trick with a wedge from 108 yards.
This season, the Tokyo University graduate has won twice on her home Japanese Tour. "I've been very consistent all year and it's always great to get a chance to play in the majors," she said.
"At the moment, I'm happy playing in Japan but, in the future, I would like to go to America and compete on the LPGA Tour."