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A brutal day at Dundonald Links blew many of the world’s biggest female golfers off course, as they struggled to cope with the driving winds and punishing rough.

Lydia Ko was among the victims on Friday, a dismal seven-over-par 79 putting pay to her hopes of ending a winless streak that now extends to 55 weeks. The former World No. 1 missed three two-foot putts in a row on her way to an early exit from the tournament.

At the top of the leaderboard it was the veterans that continued to demonstrate that experience often outweighs youth when the going gets tough, with Cristie Kerr overcoming a shaky start to head into the weekend with a one-shot lead over forty-two-year-old Australian Karrie Webb.

The American failed to show any sign over the opening holes of the form that had seen her card a sensational six-under-par on day one, double bogeying the third, before dropping further shots on the 6th and 11th.

As the players around her failed to deal with the gusty winds on the back nine, Kerr then showed the grit for which she is synonymous, making three unlikely birdies over the final seven holes to close on a 36-hole aggregate score of five-under-par, and ensure that she will be in the final group come Saturday.

Meanwhile Webb, while unable to muster a birdie run similar to that she reeled off on Thursday afternoon, dug in deep to keep in contention over the challenging Ayrshire links, and remains confident she can score her first victory of the season, despite bogeying the closing two holes.

‘’Lunch isn’t going to taste so good as it would have if I’d parred the last two. But, if you’d given me 4-under-par before I’d teed off yesterday I would have taken it.’

Two Koreans sit in tied-third, Sun Young Yoo and Sei Young Kim, while Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum lies in solo fifth.

Mention must be given to the appalling slow pace of play, with Webb calculating that it took her over eleven hours to play her first two rounds.

Carly Booth didn’t appear bothered by the long waits however, with the Scot firing one of the low rounds of the day, a two-under-par 70 to rocket up the leaderboard into a share of eleventh. She sits one back from leading Brit Georgia Hall, with the Englishwomen showing why she currently heads the Solheim Cup rankings, carding a 73 despite two double bogeys, as she aims for her second top-ten LPGA finish in the space of three weeks.

Charley Hull managed to reverse a dreadful start on day one. She was among just a handful of players who broke par on day two, shooting up the leaderboard with a one-under-par 71 and will begin the weekend at T39.

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