Ally Ewing will be trying to emulate fellow-American Brian Harman as she steps into the weekend with a five shot lead after a brilliant second round 66 in the final Major of the season, the Women’s Open at Walton Heath on Friday.
Harman led by five on Friday and Saturday evening before going on to win The Open by six shots at Hoylake last month.
Ewing,a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, similarly hopes she can hang on and collect a coveted first Major.
The 30-year-old led by one after an opening 68 and a seven birdie round put her on 10 under par and in control at the halfway stage.
Home favourite Charley Hull (68), American Andrea Lee (68) and Japan’s Minami (Katsu 69) were the closest challengers in a share of second spot on five under par.
But defending champion Ashleigh Buhai shot 73 for three over and missed the cut by a shot.
The other two South Africans in the field, Paulo Reto (three over) and Lee-Ann Pace (five over), will also watch from the sidelines this weekend.
Ewing had a magical run of four birdies in a row from the 6th and her only mistake came at the tough closing hole where she drove into the rough and took a bogey five.
“I was definitely in the zone when I had that string of birdies,” said Ewing. “I didn’t even realise that I had four in a row until I signed my card. But I just tried to stay in the here and now.
“Brian Harman does give me inspiration. You know, I think a lot of people. I wouldn’t say they were rooting against him but they wanted other people to win.
“I can relate to that, but I’m certainly very happy with my position after 36 holes.”
She also revealed that hunting is something else she has in common with new Open champion.
“I know it’s not going to be interpreted well by the media, but it’s something I do.
“You put food on the table that way so sometimes it can be spun the wrong way. It’s a means to eat for sure.”
Ewing is a type 1 diabetic and she has to manage the situation on the course.
“I have a device that I keep in my back pocket to check all is OK. Its tough but manageable,” she said.
“It would be huge to become a Major champion, it’s definitely something I’ve circled to accomplish in my career. But now I need a good rest and get ready for tomorrow.”
Hull, who finished tied for second in the US Women’s Open last month, raised her hopes of a first Major with a flawless four birdie round.
“It’s always great playing in front of the home fans,” said the 27-year-old, who lives close to the course and has played it many times.
“Everyone is really nice and I could see my nephew cheering me on. I’m five behind so I’ll just have to go out and try to make as many birdies as possible.”
Vu, winner of the first Major of the season the Chevron Championship, enhanced her hopes with a second-round 68 for four under and US Women’s Open Champion, Allisen Corpuz, was one further back after a 71.
© Agence France-Presse