Stephenson's eagle retains Classic lead

Lauren Stephenson's eagle on the 18th has given the American a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Australian Ladies Classic at Coff Harbour.

Lauren Stephenson's superb eagle on the last capped another impressive round at the Australian Ladies Classic in Coffs Harbour, to give the American a one-stroke lead at the midway point.

Stephenson's precision en route to the Bonville Golf Resort clubhouse on Friday enabled the opening round leader to preserve her status ahead of South Korea's Ayean Cho.

Stephenson carded an eight-under 64 to improve to 14-under for the Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned event.

Cho, 19, matched Stephenson's 64 to sit a shot ahead of Australian amateur Stephanie Kyriacou, who produced the round of the day - a nine-under 63.

"I haven't looked at any leader boards or anything. I'm just figuring out my game," Stephenson said.

The 22-year-old world No.179 posted five birdies on the front nine, but her charge stalled with a double bogey on the 13th.

However, she bounced back with birdies on 14, 15 and 17 before finishing in style with an eagle on the 477-yard par-5 18th.

"I hit a brilliant drive down the middle of the fairway on 18 and then I had 210 yards in, which is the perfect number for my 5-wood," she said.

"I hit a really good 5-wood and I had 15 feet for eagle ... I've been making those all day, so I kept the same rhythm."

Cho and Stephenson go head to head over the weekend and the American was relishing the challenge after watching her tie for sixth in the Women's Australian Open.

"I have never played with her before but I know she's played really well the last two weeks," Stephenson said.

Kyriacou, who sits alone in third, recorded five birdies and eagles on the seventh and 18th to keep her title hopes alive.


AAP