CHICAGO — Day 2 of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open was not as successful as Day 1 for Martha Nause and Becky Iverson unless judged on what the two Wisconsin golfers set out to accomplish in the first place.
The two Wisconsin golfers earned the opportunity to play Days 3 and 4 in this historic first United States Golf Association championship for women golfers age 50 and older — both amateurs and professionals — at Chicago GC.
Nause, a Sheboygan native, shot 9-over-par 82 and dropped into a tie for 37th place while Iverson, the director of golf at the Bridges GC in Madison, fired an 81 to make the cut on the number at 158 in a tie for 50th place. The top 50 golfers and ties from the field of 120 golfers advanced to the weekend.
World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies and fellow Englishwoman Trish Johnson shot matching two-day scores of 71-71 to share the 36-hole lead.
Davies, the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open champion, and Johnson lead another Hall of Famer, Juli Inkster, by three strokes. Inkster, a five-time USGA champion from Los Altos, Calif., was the only other player to better par at 1-under 145 through two rounds.
Danielle Ammaccapane, a native of Babylon, N.Y., who won seven times in a nearly two-decade career on the LPGA Tour, is alone in fourth place at even-par 146 on the 6,273-yard, par-73 layout.
Johnson, 52, who won 19 times on the Ladies European Tour and three times on the LPGA Tour, made an eagle 3 on the 476-yard, par-5 fourth hole, by hitting a 5-wood from 190 yards to about 10 feet and making the putt. Her round also included four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
“I hit a lot of good shots, some bad shots – the bad shots were pretty bad,” said Johnson, who won the Suquamish Clearwater event on the Legends Tour last month in Kingston, Wash. “I said to Laura [Davies] yesterday, you have a chance to win if you don’t make doubles, and of course I made a double today. Hopefully I won’t do that tomorrow.”
Davies played her last 11 holes in 4 under par to join Johnson at the top, and they will be joined by Inkster in the final grouping of the day on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. CDT. The tee times for Round 3 were moved up by 90 minutes in anticipation of stormy weather in the area.
“I think everybody will be nervous; everybody wants to win this trophy,” said Inkster, who won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1999 and 2002. “It being the inaugural and seeing Carner and Alcott and Bradley out there supporting this, they didn’t have to play. They wanted to play, and they wanted to support the Senior Open.”
Elaine Crosby, of Jackson, Mich., who led the way after the first round by one stroke with a 3-under 70 on Thursday, shot 78 on Friday morning and is tied for eighth place, six strokes back.
Four other Wisconsin golfers missed the cut. Merton amateur Maggie Leef shot 83 and finished at 15-over 161, Cumberland amateur Leigh Klasse was another shot back at 16-over 162, Appleton native Sue Ginter shot 81 to finish at 18-over 164 and Waukesha native Lauri Merten shot 83 to finish at 22-over 168.