CARNOUSTIE (AFP) - England's Georgia Hall eyed a second Women's British Open title after a three-under 69 second round at Carnoustie on Friday (Aug 20) moved her into a share of the lead on seven under.
The winner at Royal Lytham and St Annes three years ago, Hall shared the early halfway lead with American Mina Harigae despite dropping two shots at the 15th.
"I am very happy with my position," said Hall. "I got off to a great start and the only hic-cup was a double bogey at the 15th.
"But it is easy to run up a big figure over this course and I just had to forget it. I was delighted to make par over the difficult, final three holes."
The conditions so far in Scotland have been unusually benign, but it is set to become harder for the final 36 holes over a course regarded as one of the world's toughest.
"I think it makes it more interesting for everyone if it's windy," the 25-year-old added. "It's a truer test and I am excited going into the weekend. I know I can do it and I feel more experienced than I was in 2018."
Harigae posted a 67 to also move to seven under.
South Korea's Kim Sei-young (71) and American Lizette Salas (69) are just one shot off the lead on six under.
World No. 1 and Olympic gold medallist Nelly Korda shared the lead after a first round of 67, but the American was a late starter on Friday.
Meanwhile, compatriot Lexi Thompson shot a second round 70 to be just two shots off the lead at five under.
The 26-year-old said afterwards that local knowledge of the North Sea coastal course was already proving useful now she had employed Carnoustie caddie Paul Drummond after her regular bag handler fell ill during the heat of the Tokyo Olympics.
"He's been amazing," said Thompson of Drummond. "He knows how the ball will bounce before the greens and then can read every putt. I totally trust him."
For Drummond, a two-handicapper who has his own car sales business, it is a dream job. "I've caddied for a few good players but no one with a profile like Lexi Thompson," said the 31-year-old.