Wright wins battle of the breeze

9.30AM UPDATE: THURGOONA'S Lindsey Wright battled temperatures of about 7 degrees and howling winds to stay in contention at the Vic Open yesterday.

She said putting had been the key to a 1-under round on a day where only five of the almost 100-strong field were able to break par. 

"In the conditions, I putted really, really well," Wright said. 

"I didn’t have a three-putt, which I was really happy with in those conditions.

"In the conditions, I putted really, really well," Wright said. 

"I didn’t have a three-putt, which I was really happy with in those conditions.

"In the conditions, I putted really, really well," Wright said. 

"I didn’t have a three-putt, which I was really happy with in those conditions.

"I’m hitting the ball really solid, and my confidence in my putting has really picked up a lot. I’m really positive. 

"I think it’s five weeks’ work and just playing tournaments and that makes a big difference.

"I’m hitting the ball really solid, and my confidence in my putting has really picked up a lot. I’m really positive. 

"I think it’s five weeks’ work and just playing tournaments and that makes a big difference.

"I’m hitting the ball really solid, and my confidence in my putting has really picked up a lot. I’m really positive. 

"I think it’s five weeks’ work and just playing tournaments and that makes a big difference.

"Today we had a good group, we had a positive feel and vibe and it was fun to be part of."

Wright tees off in the second round at the 13th Beach layout at Barwon Heads just after midday. 

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LINDSEY Wright battled the wild weather and wind at the Victorian Open to finish in a tie for second, four shots off the lead, after the opening round.

Wind battered the 13th Beach layout but the former World No. 12 produced a solid round including two birdies — a bogey on her second last hole the only blemish in a one-under 72.

Late yesterday Wright was in a four-way tie for second which included Britain’s Laura Davies.

It is the second time the men’s and women’s Open is being played at Barwon Heads at the same time.

Wodonga’s Zach Murray and Yarrawonga’s Frazer Droop, both 16, had a torrid time in the conditions.

Droop’s five bogeys and two double bogeys left him with an 80 and well off the pace, while a four-over par inward nine saw Murray drop to five-over after the first round.

Sarah Jane Smith took a commanding four-shot lead in the women’s section, overcoming winds gusting upwards of 40km/h to fire an amazing five-under-par 67.

Her round included seven birdies and two bogeys.

On a day when only four players broke par for the women, Smith was pleased.

“It felt really good out there, actually without sounding stupid, it felt like I left a couple out there,” Smith said.

“I left three 10-foot birdie putts a couple of inches short in the heart.

“That was a bit frustrating, but apart from that I couldn’t be happier.”

Defending champion Stacey Keating, Australian amateur champion Minjee Lee, American Hannah Jun and Canadian Lorie Kane fired even-par rounds to sit equal third.

In the men’s section, Aaron Townsend claimed a one-shot lead with his three-under 69.

Only 13 men were under par, with NSWelshman Townsend leading Victorians David Bransdon, Terry Pilkadaris, Leigh Deagan and Andrew Kelly, with a group of eight players next at one-under.

Townsend is coming off two top-10 finishes at the Queensland PGA Championship and the Victorian PGA Championship and was pleased with his round given the wind and some rain made low-scoring tough.

“That’s one of the windiest days I can remember, it was fun but I’m glad it’s over,” said Townsend, who managed a bogey-free back nine.

“I got a couple of nice breaks which helped, you need them on days like this. But I hit the ball exactly where I had to.”

Pilkadaris labelled it as a day where you just had to “roll with the punches”.

“We had a squall go through on the 18th and I hit my driver 200 metres,” he said.

“You just have to hang on to your hat literally! Funky things are going to happen and things aren’t going to go your way and you’ve just got to take it on the chin.”

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