Olympics: Catriona Matthew moves up leaderboard in Rio

Catriona Matthew was pleased with her second-round performance
Catriona Matthew was pleased with her second-round performance
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Catriona Matthew insists she is well and truly in the hunt for an Olympic medal following a much-improved second round at Rio 2016.

Matthew became the first female British golfer to complete an 18-hole round at an Olympic Games on Wednesday as she carded a level-par 71.

But, just 24 hours later, the 46-year-old was climbing up the leaderboard as she opened her second round with three birdies in the opening five holes.

Matthew would add a further three through the back nine, although she did drop a shot at the 14th, to come finish with a five-under par 66.

That sees Matthew shoot up the standings and, at the end of day two, she sits tied for 13th, five shots off leader Inbee Park from South Korea.

And, with two more days of action to come, Matthew is delighted to be in the hunt for an historic Olympic medal.

“I am pleased with how I played and I think I drove it a bit better and gave myself more chances and made some putts,” she said. “I am five under so I am obviously very pleased and it keeps me in contention which is the main thing.

“I am edging closer to the lead, which is good.

“I drove it better which obviously makes the second shots easier. Maybe they were expecting more wind as they were perhaps a little generous on some of the pins but you have still got to play well.

“I’m pleased with where I am and edging closer to the lead and hopefully I can be in there with a chance on Saturday.”

It was a good day for Great Britain at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio with Charley Hull also shooting a five-under par 66. Hull is eight-under after two days and Matthew is adamant the omens look good as the women look to follow Justin Rose’s lead after he became the first Olympic golf champion for 112 years on Sunday.

“I haven’t played a whole lot with her [Charley] but she hits it pretty long and drives it pretty well,” Matthew added.

“Anyone playing well can shoot a good score here but she is in with a chance too.”

Hull, who birdied the last three holes and six in total, insists she is approaching the Olympics like any other tournament, but has always raised her game when representing Britain or Europe.

“I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun,” said Hull, who was part of the winning Curtis Cup side in 2012 and the victorious Solheim Cup in team 2013, as well as scoring four points from five matches in a losing cause in 2015.

“I’m kind of representing my country every week when I’m playing, but this week you know you’re a part of the team, so it’s good fun. I really enjoy playing in major competitions and you can’t get much better than this.

“Being on an Olympic leaderboard is pretty cool but I’m just trying to treat this like any other event so I don’t make myself too nervous.”

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