Aditi Ashok shot a solid second round of 2-under 70 and led three Indians into the weekend rounds of the inaugural $1-million Aramco Saudi Ladies International.
Aditi, who had a 1-over 73 in the first round, carded 2-under 70 to total 1-under 143 and was T-13th, an improvement of 23 places on her first round placement of T-29th in King Abdullah Economic City.
Joining Aditi into the weekend rounds were Tvesa Malik (75-75) at T-56 and Diksha Dagar (78-73) at T-61. Astha Madan (78-75) missed the cut.
Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark, who is leading the Order of Merit, and has won only her second LET win this season, five years after the first in the Hero Women’s Indian Open, moved into the halfway lead with a superb 67 in the calmer morning conditions. She is now 9-under for 36 holes — she leads by two over Lydia Hall (66-71) and by three over first round leader, Georgia Hall (65-73).
The 24-year-old Pedersen closed her second round with an eagle on her closing hole, the 9th hole alongside three birdies and one bogey.
Aditi, sixth in Dubai last week, had three birdies on fifth, seventh and closed the day with a third birdie on 18th and her only bogey came on par-3 11th.
Tvesa had five bogeys against two birdies, one of which came on Par-4 seventh, where she had a crippling triple bogey on the first day.
Diksha Dagar, who was staring at an early exit after a first round 78, made amends with a steady 73 with three birdies, two bogeys and a double that came late in the day on par-4 17th. She negotiated a tense par on 18th to make sure she stayed on for the final two rounds.
Lydia Hall remains firmly in the hunt, just two strokes behind Pederson. Hall put together a fine round, despite the blustery conditions the players traditionally face during the afternoons at the King Abdullah Economic City.
England’s Georgia Hall, leader on the opening day, started strongly before a double bogey on 15 and bogey on 16 halted the momentum. The 24-year-old closed for 1-over 73 on 6-under par.