Woods and Bregman lead as Webb DQ'd

The shock disqualification of pre tournament favourite and eight time winner, Karrie Webb, late on day two of the 2014 Volvik RACV Australian Masters at RACV Royal Pines has put a dampener on the efforts of American Cheyenne Woods and South African Stacy Lee Bregman who lead at the halfway stage but given the place Webb has in the event's history it is hardly surprising.

Despite struggling with a game that was well short of her best, Webb fought valiantly to make the cut and, as it turned out, her second round of 75 would have given her a place at the weekend albeit 13 shots from the leaders.

Webb signed for a round of 74, however, perhaps confused by the revised par of 73. The main cause appears to be the bogey she took at the 12th. A score of 5 had been put on her card but she had actually bogeyed the hole and perhaps lost in the moment she signed for the 74 and instead of her official score being the three over 75 she actually recorded her scorecard read 74.

After several minutes it became clear an issue was brewing. Webb sent a media official to double check then went and met the tournament officials before acknowledging her mistake and disqualifying herself.

For Webb who was chasing her 9th Volvik RACV Ladies Masters title, it was a sad end to what had been a week where she was defending her title. As the leading world ranked player in the field all eyes had been on her and for tournament organisers it is a major blow given her popularity with locals and just what she brings to the tournament.

Woods and Bregnman however are the joint leaders and their efforts cannot be underestimated. Woods who is the niece of her namesake Tiger, added a second round of 67 to her opening 69 and took full advantage of the improved morning conditions on day two.

Woods's only mistake came at her 9th hole which she bogeyed she bounced back immediately when she holed a pitch for eagle at the 1st hole (her 10th) and added further birdies at her 13th and 17th holes.

Woods has played the Ladies European Tour this season perhaps enjoying the opportunity to develop her game away from the media glare she would face in the US. The former Wake Forest player clearly has game and now emerging from the shadow of her famous uncle it appears she might be on the cusp of developing a successful professional career herself.

Woods is feeling the benefit of a year in Europe. "I feel a lot more comfortable out here, and there are a few familiar faces from last year so overall I think I'm well adjusted. I'm just in a good place and I'm able to play good golf.

"I think it was a lot calmer today; the wind didn't gust up too bad. Yesterday when we played it was a little rainy, a little wet, and it was windy. But today the conditions were great so you probably will continue to see the lower scores."

Bregman gave credit to the ALPG for hosting the lead in pro am events she has played to have her game in shape for this week. "I haven't been here for the last 2 years due to injury unfortunately. I don't normally play the ProAm's and it seems like they are paying off and the ALPG has done a great job hosting all those events to lead up to this and given us internationals a chance to get a nice warm up and I think it has done me the world of good.

Bregman finished 51st on the Ladies European Tour money list last year and has yet to win on that tour but recorded three top tens in 2013. Her best finish in Europe has been when runner-up in Turkey in 2008.

The pair lead by one over veteran English golfer Trish Johnson who, along with British 17 year old Charley Hull, recorded the equal best round of the day (66). 48 year old Johnson has won 21 events on the Ladies European Tour.

Sweden's Camilla Lennarth is next just one shot back while Hull and joint first round leader Katie Burnett are tied for 5th at 7 under and just three from the lead.

The leading Australians is current Australian Amateur Champion Minjee Lee who is tied in 7th position just four from the lead with Katherine Kirk one shot further back.

Three over par made the cut a score that would have got Webb through. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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