Sun, 29 Mar 2020

Wellington - Major-winner Pernilla Lindberg missed the cut on Friday after becoming the first woman golfer to compete at the New Zealand Open, but still achieved her pre-tournament goals.

The Swede, who won the 2018 ANA Inspiration, went into the Kiwi event saying she wanted to "beat just one man" as the first female participant in its 101-year history.

Lindberg, 33, ended up beating five male professionals and equalling four more as she ended round two in a five-way tie for 147th place after shooting 153.

She finished day two with a one-over-par 73 at the Hills course, much improved on her nine-over opening day at Millbrook Resort.

The field at the Asian Tour event played alternate rounds over the first two days at each of the Millbrook Resort and The Hills courses.

The top 60 players and ties after the halfway cut will play the third and fourth rounds at Millbrook.

Lindberg, ranked 178th in the women's game, was invited to compete with the men after organisers learned she already had plans to visit Queenstown.

Female golfers have struggled playing against men at professional level.

Annika Sorenstam, Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome have all played men's tournaments without success, although Wie did make the cut at an event in South Korea in 2006.

Babe Zaharias back in 1945 remains the only woman to make the cut in a US PGA event.

At the other end of the leaderboard, Korean teenager Kim Joo-hyung held on to top spot after a three-under-par 68 at the Hills, putting him one shot ahead of Australia's Ben Eccles.

Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy of Australia made the cut but pre-tournament favourite and local hope Ryan Fox did not.

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