For the second day in a row, the Hero Women's Indian Open saw a new course record. And this time, it was big enough to push Michele Thomson all the way up to the top of the leaderboard from a tied-10th position at the beginning of the day.
The Scotswoman - who turned pro in 2009 but quit after less than a year, only to return to full-time golf in 2013 – brought down the course record on the challenging Black Knight Course at the DLF Golf and Country Club here, from 5-under to 8-under with an incredible round of 64.
The previous record was shared by Thailand's Patcharajutar Kongkraphan (in 2015) and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord (on Friday) .
It also saw her move to a 10-under total of 134 after 36 holes, three shots clear of a four-way tie at the second spot, one of whom was local favourite Vani Kapoor. Vani finished at four-under 68 on the second day.
Day One leader Marianne Skarpnord, meanwhile, dropped four shots – she hadn't done any on Friday – and made two birdies, one on each nine, to finish two over for the day and way down the chart at tied-15th.
Thomson, who had requested an invite from the sponsors to participate here, was returning to India after a gap of 10 years – she came for the only edition of the Emaar-MGF Masters in Bengaluru in 2007 – and the first time as a pro. This is her first full year on the Ladies European Tour since the comeback.
Vani, meanwhile, was hopeful of continuing her good form and get a full LET card. “I found a lot of greens but was faced with a lot of downhill putts. I am not putting any pressure on myself and going one shot at a time.
"I have not been hitting too well, but I have been putting better. If I play well I get a good finish and my LET card, or else I will keep working on it,” the Indian pro said.
Defending champion Aditi Ashok fired another two-under round to drop down to tied-13th and a two-day total of 140. Aditi did not have the best of starts, beginning with a bogey on the tenth, but recovered with birdies on 13th and 15th - a performance she repeated on the front nines.
Among other Indians, Gaurika Bishnoi carded a one-over 73 to struggle at tied-26th. The only other Indian to make the cut – which was applied at 4-over 148, leaving 63 players to battle it out on the final day - was amateur Pranavi Urs, after carding a two-under 70 for a 3-over 147 score over two days to be tied-51.