ST ANDREWS, United Kingdom (AFP) – Japan's Miki Saiki had a bundle of new experiences as she surged into the halfway lead on nine under par at the women's British Open at St Andrews on Friday.
An early starter, Saiki overtook American Morgan Pressel to set the early target. Pressel, joint first round leader on 66, added a 70 for eight under par.
It was the first time she had led in a major, the first time that she had twice holed out for eagle twos in the same round and she judged her second round six under par 66 as the best of her career.
"Because it is a major and we are here at the Old Course and surrounded by so much history then it must rate as my best ever round," she assessed.
Not that the 28-year-old is a stranger to low scores over the famous links. Back in the 2007 Women's British Open she carded a 67 in the final round and finished tied seventh.
On a day that had rain, wind and then a drying sun, Saiki's highlights were easy to pick out.
At the 371-yard fourth, she holed her eight iron second shot from 127 yards. At the 353-yard seventh, she repeated the trick with a wedge from 108 yards.
This season, the Tokyo University graduate has won twice on her home Japanese Tour. "I've been very consistent all year and it's always great to get a chance to play in the majors," she said.
"At the moment, I'm happy playing in Japan but, in the future, I would like to go to America and compete on the LPGA Tour."