USA’s Steen leads women’s leg of Handa event


BALLYMENA, Northern Ireland — American player Marissa Steen scored 1-under 72 to take a 1-shot lead at the halfway stage of the ISPS Handa World Invitational on the LPGA Tour on Friday.

Steen started what was a very gusty day at 2 under, made two bogeys and three birdies for her round of 72, and moved to the top of the leaderboard with a total of 3 under, ahead of Germany’s Esther Henseleit who shot a 71 at Castlerock.

Ryann O’Toole of the United States, Gabriella Cowley of England, Olivia Cowan of Germany and Kim Metraux of Switzerland were tied for third place at 1 under.

Sweden’s Maja Stark won the women’s title last year but was not in the field this week.

In the men’s competition, England’s Dan Brown has a 6-shot lead at 11 under after his round of 66.

The parkland Galgorm Castle Golf Club and the links at Castlerock Golf Club are staging the tournament. Every men’s and women’s player plays one round at each venue over the first two days, before all the action takes place at Galgorm once the cut falls after 36 holes.

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