Icher the runaway leader

Six shot lead in Compaq Open for French rookie after two rounds.

By Martin Park on Fri, 10 Aug 2001 - 09:08

Karine Icher from France has extended her three shot first round lead to six shots, firing another blistering round of golf in the second round of the £325,000 Compaq Open at Österåkers GC.

The Evian Tour rookie leads on 13 under par, returning a faultless six under 67 to lead Spain's Raquel Carriedo, who also had a 67.

New Zealander Lynnette Brooky carded a 73 to add to her first round 72 and is the only other player under par on a course that the majority of the field are struggling to come to terms with.

Four players are tied on level par, Solheim Cup captain Dale Reid, Denmark's Iben Tinning and Sweden's Sara Eklund and promising amateur Mikaela Parmlid.

Icher, who has four top ten finishes this season, including finishing third in the French Open, took advantage of the more benign conditions today to increase the gap at the top.

Birdies at the second and the fifth holes saw her turn in a flawless 34. And with an eagle at the long par five 11th, hitting her five wood second shot to within six feet, she moved well ahead of the pack.

With consecutive birdies at the 16th and 17th, both from six feet, the winner of last year's Tour Q-School moved into a comfortable position in search of her maiden Tour win, the £48,750 first prize and to become the third rookie to win on Tour this year.

The buzz around the course all revolves around Icher's incredible start to the event and opinions are set that yet another young European player is set to make their mark in World golf.

"You could put the best players in the world on this course, Karrie, Annika, Se Ri Pak, anyone, but I guarantee you that Icher would still be winning on 13 under par - it's an incredible effort and great to see," said Chuck Hoersch, caddie to Sophie Gustafson and one of the most experienced bagmen on the circuit.