Another unbreakable 18 holes from Lee-Anne Pace keeps the South African atop of the leaderboard at 12 under, as the sun set on Round 2 of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open.
The second day of the tournament was crammed with action, with India’s Aditi Ashok still in the hunt carding 66 to fall just one shot off the lead on 11 under, whilst Spaniard Luna Sobron made history by setting a new course record with 62; finishing nine under par overall for a share of third place – a 73-place climb from yesterday.
Also shooting up the leaderboard to join Luna in third place was Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth at nine under overall, who fired eight birdies to post a second round score of seven under. Cheyenne Woods once again performed strongly with a round of 6 under, including an incredible hole in one on the 6th hole, her first as a professional, to put her in third place overall.
Georgia Hall also shot an impressive 67 to finish at 8 under par overall in joint fifth place with Florentyna Parker, Celine Herbin and Linda Wessberg.
Pace refused to crack under pressure, saying: “It feels great and I remembered the course better today but I struck the ball really nicely too. I hit the shots I wanted to hit and I hit it really close to the pin and made the putts.
Commenting on the days ahead, she added: “Tomorrow I’d like to start the way I did today, and be a bit patient, as patience helps you to do a lot. I had some chances which I didn’t take but in the end I’m pretty satisfied.”
Ashok was modest when asked about her round, focusing more on her technical game: “I feel I’m hitting the ball well enough, though I missed a couple of drives left but apart from that I struck the ball pretty well. My putting has been pretty good too, so I’m happy.
She added: “Still bogey free and everyone is mentioning it. I’m just focusing on hitting the fairways and letting the birdies happen.”
It was a tough day for Marianne Skarpnord as Norway’s rising star dropped to two under par, while fan favourite Carly Booth shot another 72 to finish agonizingly short of the cut going into day three. It was also a disappointing day for reigning champ Beth Allen, another not to make the cut, who immediately tweeted after her round: “What a world class event here at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club for FBMLO. Gutted to have put up such a terrible defense. #nextyear”.
His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary at Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), owner of the event, said: “Today has shown just how much can change in this exciting sport. It’s no surprise that with such a host of talent on the field, we saw impressive play that has teed up a thrilling weekend of world-class competition ahead. We can’t wait to see what the next two days bring.”
Marking the Emirates-wide celebration of UAE Flag Day, players showed their support by wearing flag pins on their caps, as well as each pin flag changing from tournament magenta to the national flag.
The Village was buzzing with visitors today, as guests enjoyed refreshing cuisine, family fun and views of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club’s fairways basked in the Arabian sun. The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open teed up more than just golf ahead of the weekend on day two at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, with visitors enjoying activities such as chipping challenges, the regions first-ever ‘paint golf’, and introductory beginners’ sessions in the popular tournament village, as well as culinary delights from Theo’s Point.
photos Janos Schmidt