American Lindsey Weaver lies just two shots off the lead at the halfway stage of the AIG Women’s Open, despite opting to pull her own clubs on a malfunctioning trolley plucked from her parents’ garage.
As strong winds and rain continued to send scores soaring at Royal Troon, Weaver carded a second round of 72 to finish one over par alongside the likes of former world number one Lydia Ko.
Sweden’s Daniela Holmqvist was the only player in red figures after 36 holes, rounds of 71 and 70 leaving the 32-year-old on one under par, a shot ahead of America’s Austin Ernst and Germany’s Sophia Popov.
Overnight leader Amy Olson slumped from four under to six over following an 81 but still made the halfway cut with shots to spare. Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew is five over after adding a 76 to her opening 71.
Weaver almost quit the sport at the end of last season but was persuaded by her mother to give it one more go and finished fifth at the qualifying school to maintain her LPGA status.
Asked why she was not employing a caddie this week, Weaver told Sky Sports: “I feel like it’s back to the basics. This is how junior golf was, how college golf was and how it was on the Symetra Tour when I played there for a year.
“I would just do locals (caddies) in previous years so it was still me making the final decision, so it’s not really too different.”
It has not all been plain sailing however, Weaver revealing the strong winds had caused her an unusual problem in Thursday’s first round.
“I was in one bunker and then my push cart flew into another bunker and toppled over,” the 26-year-old added. “I’m still trying to get a lot of the sand out of my bag!
“I have brakes but they don’t work very well because my cart is more than a decade old.”
Holmqvist, who is still plagued by a back injury suffered in a golf cart crash at the end of 2018, could follow in the footsteps of fellow Swede Henrik Stenson, who won the Open Championship when Troon last staged a major in 2016.
“I think it’s really cool,” Holmqvist said. “I just remember watching the last 18 holes there with Phil (Mickelson) and Henrik playing, and I think that was probably one of the best showdowns I’ve ever seen in major championship golf.
“It definitely has been a strange year. I’m coming off an injury and still injured, so for me this break has been kind of good to just be able to focus more, rehab and kind of just heal and get a little bit stronger so I can be out here to perform again.”
A second round of 75 meant Lexi Thompson missed the cut on 11 over par, but the American was at least cleared of a potential rules infringement during the first round.
A statement from the R&A read: “Yesterday, as part of its normal TV review procedures, The R&A viewed Lexi Thompson’s actions prior to playing her second shot at the 16th hole in round one of the AIG Women’s Open.
“Following a discussion between chief referee David Rickman and the player prior to her signing her scorecard, it was determined that, although the player had moved a growing natural object behind her ball, it had returned to its original position.
“Therefore, the lie of the ball was not improved and there was no breach of Rule 8.1.”
During the ANA Inspiration in 2017, Thompson was leading by three shots during the final round when she was informed by tournament officials she would be penalised for an incident which took place the previous day.
Thompson was penalised two strokes for incorrectly replacing a marked
ball on the 17th green and another two for signing an incorrect scorecard after
a television viewer had alerted LPGA officials to the incident via email.
Wales’s Becky Morgan was alongside Matthew on five over par, with 2018 winner Georgia Hall two shots further back following a birdie-free 76.