Second-placed Aditi stays on heels of leader Lee-Ann

The 19-year-old from Bangalore, who won two titles in her first year as a professional in 2016, will defend her crown at next week’s Hero Women’s Indian Open.

Aditi Ashok, who remains bogey-free after 36 holes, took advantage of the favourable conditions.   -  AFP

 

India’s Aditi Ashok fired a superb six-under 66 to stay hot on the heels of leader Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa after the second round of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open here on Thursday.

The 36-year-old Lee-Anne also shot a second sizzling 66 to keep a narrow one shot lead over Aditi. The South African was 12-under-par, while Aditi was 11-under after another day of low scoring at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

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Pace felt that the light sea breeze complemented the perfect golfing conditions, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 30s.

Aditi, who remains bogey-free after 36 holes, took advantage of the favourable conditions. “I think in general the par fives are short so most of the longer hitters can reach them in two shots, so that’s four birdies expected in your round and I think today the pins were easier,” she said.

The 19-year-old from Bangalore, who won two titles in her first year as a professional in 2016, will defend her crown at next week’s Hero Women’s Indian Open. “I feel as though I’m hitting the ball well. I missed a couple of drives left but I generally struck it well and my putting was good.”

Lee-Anne, nine-time Ladies European Tour champion, said, “I think there was less wind and it was a favourable wind as well. I started off with three birdies from the 10th hole and made some sliding putts, so I was happy to start like that. I struck the ball nicely and hit the shots where I wanted to hit them.”

The hunting pack includes Ladies European Tour rookie professional Luna Sobr from Spain, who shot a women’s course record 62 (-10) and Camilla Lennarth, who share third place on nine-under.

American Cheyenne Woods stayed in touch with the leaders after making her first professional tournament hole-in-one at the sixth using a 7-iron, from 161 yards.