Indian teenager Aditi Ashok fired a second round of six-under-par 66 at Doha Golf Club on Thursday morning and vaulted into a share of the lead with Annabel Dimmock from England (67) at the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open, which is the Ladies European Tour’s latest new tournament.
On eight-under-par, the pair hold a one stroke clubhouse lead ahead of Alexandra Vilatte Farret of France, who had a 67, with Nanna Koerstz Madsen and first round co-leader Lydia Hall also on seven-under-par after 10 and 12 holes respectively.
The 18-year-old Ashok, fresh from her maiden win in the Hero Women’s Indian Open a fortnight ago, took advantage of the warm, benign conditions to birdie the first two holes and picked up another shot at the sixth. She came back with birdies on the 10th, 12th and 15th in a steady round to sit in contention for a second straight victory.
“Today was really good. I didn’t give myself enough chances yesterday so I did that today and I feel it was really good,” she said. “I’m feeling confident in my game and today was a great day. I hope I can keep the momentum going.
“I putted really well and four of my birdie putts were outside eight feet, so those were good. I made a 15 footer for par as well on the 14th, so putting and I hit the ball well. I missed a couple because I hit it that well.
“It was less windy in the morning and I think that helped me a little bit. Yesterday as soon as I started there was a lot of wind at the start but today there wasn’t as much wind and you could attack the pins more.”
Dimmock (above) had just one bogey and six birdies on her score card. She said: “My long game was really good but I still left a few short putts short. I’m really pleased.
“I’m just trying to play well to finish as far up the Order of Merit as possible. This year I’ve been going to a lot of tournaments for the first time so it’s been cool to see different places.”
Vilatte Farret had a bogey-free 67 and said afterwards: “I didn’t miss any greens so that made it easier and made some good putts. Most of the pins were in the centre of the green or on the side. It was not very windy, so it was fine.”
On a day of low scoring, Swedish pair Caroline Hedwall and Linda Wessberg also had 67s to lie in a share of sixth position, alongside South African Nicole Garcia after 13 holes, while Finland’s Oona Vartianen and Pamela Pretswell of Scotland also had 67s to sit inside the top ten.