Nicole Broch Larsen leads by one shot at Helsingborg Open

Last Updated: 04/09/15 9:43pm

Nicole Broch Larsen reeled off five birdies over the back nine

Nicole Broch Larsen recovered from a nervy start to retain her lead at the halfway stage of the Helsingborg Open in Sweden.

The Dane led overnight following an opening 68 at Vasatorps Golf Club, but she found herself trailing after stuttering to the turn one over for the second round.

But Broch Larsen reeled off five birdies over her inward nine to return a 69 and reclaim the lead on nine under, one shot clear of South African Ashleigh Simon.

Leaderboard

"This is where I want to be," said Brich Larsen afterwards. "Today I had a bit of a bad start. My front nine was not as good as I wanted but on the back nine I made a couple of birdies in a row and just kept going.

"I'm a long hitter, so I had some short irons into some of the par fives, but then I missed some of the fairways as well and didn't get up and down. On the back nine, I hit it close and got the putter going so it was nice to bounce back that way."

Simon stormed 29 places up the leaderboard into outright second place after a superb nine-birdie 65 which she completed in near darkness after play was delayed early on due to the threat of nearby electrical storms.

"I'm really chuffed," said the 28-year-old, who is bidding for a third Ladies European Tour title. "I got off to a really good start, three birdies in a row, lipped out on my fourth and then holed a really nice putt from off the green on the par-three 14th. Unfortunately I bogeyed the 18th, which was my ninth, but nine was in my head and I nearly got to it. 

"I putted really well today, hit some nice shots and just converted them. I found something this week and worked on it over the phone with my coach, Doug Wood. My grip had got quite strong, so I weakened that a little bit. I'd been hitting it left the last few weeks and was just getting it around."

Swedish rookie professional Lina Boqvist, who tied for third at the recent Tipsport Golf Masters in the Czech Republic, lies in third on seven under, with Katie Burnett of the United States a stroke back in fourth.

Joanna Klatten, Marianne Skarpnord, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Olivia Cowan, Liz Young and Marta Sanz Barrio share fifth at five under par.

However, local star Caroline Hedwall, a captain's pick for this month's Solheim Cup in Germany, added a 75 to her opening 76 to miss the cut by four shots with a 36-hole total of five over par.