Thidapa Suwannapura carded a two-over 74 but still managed to lead her nearest rivals by a stroke after two rounds of the Hero Women’s Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club on Friday.
The Thai now has a two-day tally of four-under 140. Charley Hull and joint over-night leader Valentine Derrey lie one stroke behind.
Gauri Monga was the best Indian on view, her round of two-under placing her joint fourth.
American Hannah Jun, third after the first day, shot four-over to slip down to tied sixth.
The cut was applied at 153, and 67 players made it including five professionals and five amateurs from India.
Suwannapura managed par on the first four holes. She dropped a shot on the par-three fifth, and dropped two more on the seventh and ninth before birdieing the 10th.
“The greens were far trickier today and it was very difficult to get the pin position right. The course was much harder, especially on the back nine where I missed some really short putts — some from as close as a couple of feet. So, you cannot expect anything from this course, just try to play your game and hope to keep the ball very straight,” she said.
The conditions were equally tough in both sessions. If those teeing off in the morning session had to power past the fog and the dew, which made the greens slower, those in the afternoon had to factor in the wind that threatened to draw them off the fairway.
Monga, though, was satisfied with her performance.
“Even yesterday, I was two-under through 17 holes before messing up on the 18th. The difference today was that I shot par on the last hole, so it feels good,” she said, adding that the wind wasn’t much of a factor for her.
“Though driving is tough in these conditions, I would say that was my strong point today since I managed to stay on target and get quite close to the holes. Most of my putts were quite short, maybe around 4-5 feet,” Monga said.
“I am excited about tomorrow because I will get to play with all the big players and the top scorers so it will be great,” she said.
Other Indians, including Order of Merit leaders Neha Tripathi and Vani Kapoor, were further back at tied 30th and 49th respectively while veteran pro Smriti Mehra was tied 41st.
Sharmila Nicollet and Gurbani Singh managed to sneak into third day’s play at tied 62nd.
140: Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 66, 74.
141: Valentine Derrey (Fra) 66, 75, Charley Hull (Eng) 69, 72. 143: Saraporn Chamchoi (Tha) 73, 70, Gauri Monga (Ind) 73, 70.
144: Hannah Burke (Eng) 73, 71, Hannah Jun (USA) 68, 76.
145: Elina Nummenpaa (Fin) 72, 73, Titiya Plucksataporn (Tha) 70, 75, Nontaya Srisawang (Tha) 73, 72, Bo-Mi Suh (Kor) 70, 75, Pennapa Pulsawath (Tha) 73, 72, Nanthikarn Raksachat (Tha) 73, 72 and Ye Na Chung (Kor) 73, 72 145.