England's Hall in contention at Women's British Open as Thompson challenges

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England's Georgia Hall eyed a second Women's British Open title after a three-under par second round at Carnoustie on Friday moved her into a share of the lead on seven-under.

The winner at Royal Lytham and St Annes three years ago, Hall shared the early halfway lead with American Mina Harigae despite dropping two shots at the 15th.

"I am very happy with my position," said Hall. "I got off to a great start and the only hic-cup was a double bogey at the 15th.

"But it is easy to run up a big figure over this course and I just had to forget it. I was delighted to make par over the difficult, final three holes."

The conditions so far in Scotland have been unusually benign, but it is set to become harder for the final 36 holes over a course regarded as one of the world's toughest.

"I think it makes it more interesting for everyone if it's windy," the 25-year-old added. "It's a truer test and I am excited going into the weekend. I know I can do it and I feel more experienced than I was in 2018."

Harigae posted a 67 to also move to seven-under.

South Korea's Kim Sei-young and American Lizette Salas are just one shot off the lead on six under.

World Number one and Olympic gold medallist Nelly Korda shared the lead after a first round of 67, but the American was a late starter on Friday.

- Thompson's 'amazing' local caddie -

Meanwhile, compatriot Lexi Thompson shot a second round 70 to be just two shots off the lead at five under par.

The 26-year-old said afterwards that local knowledge of the North Sea coastal course was already proving useful now she had employed Carnoustie caddie Paul Drummond after her regular bag handler fell ill during the heat of the Tokyo Olympics.

"He's been amazing," said Thompson of Drummond. "He knows how the ball will bounce before the greens and then can read every putt. I totally trust him."

For Drummond, a two handicapper who has his own car sales business, it is a dream job. "I've caddied for a few good players but no one with a profile like Lexi Thompson," said the 31-year-old.

"The caddie master sought me out last weekend and it's been great. Lexi is really good fun."

Thompson, whose one major win came in the 2014 ANA Inspiration, led by five shots with 10 holes to play at the US Open in June but had a collapse on the back nine and finished one behind eventual winner Yuka Saso.

"But I have not let if affect me and I don't think I have anything to prove," Thompson insisted Friday. "I've done that already in my career. Golf is a crazy up and down game."

It's already been a good week for the Thompson family, with brother Curtis, who worked as Lexi's caddie for a couple of years, clinching his PGA Tour card for the forthcoming season last Sunday.

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