Hinako Shibuno maintained her first-round lead through 36 holes at the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open presented by Trust Golf, getting to 12-under overall after a 4-under 68 on the second day. It’s the third 36-hole lead/co-lead of Shibuno’s career, and the first time since the 2022 Chevron Championship where she’s opened with back-to-back rounds in the 60s.
“That wind was, you know, getting weaker and weaker, but still there was some wind, and it was very difficult for me,” said Shibuno.
Despite a three-putt bogey on her first hole of the day, her lone blemish through two rounds at Dundonald Links, the 2019 AIG Women’s Open champion rebounded with an immediate birdie on No. 2 to quickly reset. Shibuno next took advantage of the second par-5 of the day, No. 5, before finding her next score on No. 11. She carded only two more birdies coming in on No. 14 and 18, but it was enough to top the leaderboard alone with moving day on the horizon.
On Saturday, Shibuno’s grouping will include the Swede she also shared the first two rounds with, Maja Stark, whose 7-under 65 moved her into solo second at 10-under thanks in part to five consecutive birdies from Nos. 12-16. Stark’s 65 is a new season-best 18-hole score, and she will see the weekend for the first time at the Women’s Scottish Open in her second appearance.
“It was very solid today. I had a really frustrating headache on the first six holes. So, I didn't really care about my game, to be honest. Maybe it was a good thing that I didn't really pay attention. “But then we got that figured out and, yeah, started making some putts,” said Stark. “Bogey on 10 really made me start, like, sharpening up. And then just felt like everything went smooth. I had a lot of confidence today.”
Last week’s maiden major champion Céline Boutier and Sarah Kemp sit in a tie for third at 7-under after both shot 69-68 to keep in contention in Scotland. Madelene Sagström rounds out the top five after a 1-over 73 got her to 5-under overall. In Gee Chun’s bogey-free 66, which included an eagle on No. 3, had her jump up 48 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for sixth at 4-under with seven other players like fellow major champion Patty Tavatanakit and 2017 Women’s Scottish Open champion at Dundonald Mi Hyang Lee.
Louise Duncan is the leading Scot through 36 holes, sitting in a tie for 23rd at 2-under. 74 players made the cut at 3-over, including Gemma Dryburgh (T53, +2) who is making her first competitive return to her homeland since becoming an LPGA Tour winner at the 2022 TOTO Japan Classic as well as 2022 champion Ayaka Furue on the number after shooting 74-73 to see the weekend in her title defense.