Friday wasn’t a casual day for Caroline Hedwall. Dressed in a solid black top and black cap, the Swede was all business as she followed her opening round 66 with a round of 67 to take the outright lead at 9-under par at the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I. Midway through the second round, Hedwall leads by one ahead of first round leader Thidapa Suwannapura. Emma Talley and In Gee Chun sit two-back at 7-under par.
“I've just been striking the ball really well and made a couple of putts,” said Hedwall, who had 54 putts over the first two days. “It could have been lower today, but I'm really happy with 4-under and 9-under total, and I'm just looking forward to the weekend.”
Hedwall, a three-time member of the European Solheim Cup team, who in 2013 became the first player in the history of the event to finish with a 5-0-0 record, has struggled since last making the team in 2015. And while she’s made the cut in less than half of the 11 events she’s teed it up in this season, she’s also showed signs of returning to the form that put her name in the record books. In March, Hedwall opened with a round of 66 at the Kia Classic but fell back on the weekend with rounds of 70-73 to finish T18, her best finish of the year. Last week in Wisconsin, Hedwall again went low, opening with a 67 only to follow with a round of 74 that left her outside the cut line. Hedwall’s success has hinged largely on her putting, an area of her game that she found confidence with this week in Ohio.
“Yesterday I started making some putts again, and just knowing that I can actually see the ball going in the hole again is just nice,” Hedwall explained. “When you're a professional golfer and you can't make a putt, it's just really tough, and it's frustrating, especially when everyone else is making putts.”
Currently, the cut line is projected to fall at Even par. Click here for current scores.