Gurugram: Amandeep Drall shot a fine two-under 70 in the second round to be the best placed Indian at tied eighth spot in the Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament.
Amandeep (72-70) now occupy the tied-eighth position with a total of two-under 142.
Australian Whitney Hillier rode a roller coaster of a back nine, which she rounded off with two birdies at the very end to sneak ahead of everyone into the sole lead.
Hillier, who shot five-under on the first day for a share of the lead, dropped to three-under at one stage but fought back superbly in the last seven holes to rise to the top at six-under and was one ahead of Marianne Skarpnord (68-71), who had the clubhouse lead for the most part of the day.
First round co-leader Meghan MacLaren dropped back to shared third place alongside Linda Wessberg of Sweden at two-under 140.
Three players including Christine Wolf (73-68) were tied-fifth at three-under 141.
Amandeep, a consistent player on the domestic circuit, who has never had a top-10 finish in an LET event, finished her day with three birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th which are considered the toughest stretch on the Gary Player course at DLF Golf and Country Club.
With the cut falling at seven-over, 68 players made the weekend rounds and that included 10 Indians, four of them amateurs which augurs well for Indian women’s golf.
Overnight co-leader Hillier, playing one group ahead of Amandeep, had one birdie and one bogey on the front nine but a double bogey on the 10th set her back. She roared back with four birdies in the last seven holes to take the lead.
In the morning, Skarpnord, who is the highest-ranked player on LET rankings in this week’s field, seemed to be in a bother as she turned in two-over on the back nine, which was her front nine.
She had a triple bogey on 11th and a bogey on the 16th against birdies on 13th and 18th. She rebounded off strongly on the second nine with birdies on the first, third, fourth and fifth to get to six-under before dropping a shot on sixth to finish 36 holes in five-under.
Tvesa Malik (72-72) and Vani Kapoor (74-70) played steadily to ensure make the cut and are tied-15th.
Starting from the 10th, Tvesa was one-over for the back nine, her first nine, and one-under for the front nine of the course just like the first day.
Also starting on 10th, Vani, sixth in 2017, was one-under for back nine and on the front stretch she had two birdies and one bogey.
The bravest Indian on the second day was Diksha Dagar (72-73), who started the day with a quadruple bogey.
She hit the far right and went back to the tee and had a four-putt on the green for an eight. She fought back with three birdies on third, fourth and eighth.
Again she dropped shots on 11th and 12th, only to birdie the 13th and 14th. Then Diksha saved an improbable par on the 18th hole after hitting into the water with the first shot.
Her approach shot, which became her third shot, sailed over the water and curled along and found its way into the cup from 115 yards for a par. She is one-over 145 and tied-22nd.
Gaurika Bishnoi (73-74) was tied-31st, while fast-rising amateur Anika Varma (76-72) and Astha Madan (73-75) were in shared 37th place at four-over 148.
Amateurs Jahnavi Bakshi (74-76) and Pranavi Urs (71-79) were tied-51st at six-over 150.
Yet another amateur Seher Atwal (74-77), studying in the US, just made the grade at seven-over 151.
Missing out were some big names, including defending champion Becky Morgan (77-80) of Wales and pre-tournament favourite Carly Booth (81-76) of Scotland, both of whom finished on 13-over par 152.