28-year-old Australian, Whitney Hillier, co-leader from the opening round at Hero Women’s Indian Open, took the solo lead with a second-round 71 including five birdies (four on back nine) and a double-bogey on par-4 10th. Hillier was down to 3-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.
“I was very calm all day. I stayed in the present and just tried to hit the best shots I could. It was actually very challenging with the wind so I had to judge that quite a lot. I hit a couple of really good shots but got punished. Had some really good putts coming in though.”
She added, “I had a few steady pars to start off with. Had one bogey then I got it back pretty quickly. And then I was 2-over after 10th. The 10th hasn’t been very good to me so far but I am going to get it back on the weekend. I made a few good birdies coming in and then obviously at the 17th & 18th, was good to finish with those last two putts. So very happy with today.”
The cut-line was set at 7-over 151 and saw 10 Indians making the cut, which included six professionals four amateurs, namely, Anika Varma (T-36), Jahanvi Bakshi (T-49), Pranavi Urs (T-49) and Seher Atwal (T-56) too.
Among the Indians, Amandeep Drall took the top honours by standing tied-8th with 2-under 70 for the day and a total score of 2-under 142.
Drall, who has never had a Top-10 finish in a 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.
Tvesa Malik (72-72) and Vani Kapoor (74-70) played steadily to ensure passage past 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.
Pranavi Urs, who was the top-ranked Indian yesterday shot 7-over 79 today to finish at 6-over 150 over two days to stand T-49. Whereas, Anika Varma, who has recently started her high schooling in Sacramento shot a level-par 72, four-shot better than yesterday to stand T-36 and as the best amateur in the field today.