Indian troika of Aditi Ashok, Diksha Dagar and Tvesa Malik made the cut at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open golf tournament in Sitges at Barcelona. The only one missing out was Astha Madan (81-77).
Ashok, who has been dividing her time between European and LPGA Tours, shot a bogey-free four-under 67 to get to one-under 141 following her first round 73 and is now Tied-eighth for a possible first Top-10 this season since Abu Dhabi in January.
Last year, Ashok was T-5 at the same Estrella Damm event. The Indian was T-26 in France last week. Dagar, the only winner this season, found a birdie on the very last hole, the 18th after a patchy day to make the weekend.
She had three birdies, including one on the closing hole besides a bogey on par-5 seventh and a double bogey on Par-4 ninth and a bogey on a 17th. She shot 75 in first round.
Tvesa Malik had a roller coaster of a round as she dropped four bogeys in first five holes with a birdie on second. She seemed in danger of missing the cut before finding birdies on fifth and seventh and then ninth. She had 73 on first day.
Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck fired a second consecutive 68 to lead by three at the halfway stage. The 24-year-old built a sizeable lead with four birdies in her first 12 holes but made a solitary bogey on the par-4 14th at Terramar Golf Club. She has four top 10 finishes this season but is still looking for her first win.
Three other players yet to win on tour are a stroke back in a tie for second and they are Sweden’s Filippa Moork (68), Germany’s Olivia Cowan (69) and Finland’s Noora Komulainen (68).
Sharma fires flawless 67 at Dunhill Links
Indian golfers Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shubhankar Sharma landed an eagle each, both on Par-5 fifth in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews.
Bhullar’s four-under 68 took his total to seven-under after two rounds and placed him at Tied-42nd, while Sharma was six-under at T-60th after bringing home a flawless 67 on day two.
Meanwhile, Matthew Jordan carded a stunning 64, which included a hole-out eagle two followed by five successive birdies, at St Andrews Old Course to take the halfway lead.
Bhullar had a fine front nine at St. Andrews with birdies on third, seventh and eighth and in between eagled the fifth but also dropped a shot on 17th. Sharm, on the other hand, was bogey free as he birdied second, eagled fifth, birdied 10th and 13th.
The 23-year-old Jordan caught fire when he holed out with his approach at the par four third hole. Five birdies in a row from the fourth led to a front nine 29 and raised hopes of a potential chase for the magic number of 59.
But eight pars and a birdie on the way home meant 64, but he was still in the lead at 14-under total. Jordan held a one-stroke advantage over his friend, Challenge Tour Number One and leading Scot Calum Hill, as well as compatriot Matthew Southgate and Swede Joakim Lagergren.
World Number Four Justin Rose was among the six players in a tie for fifth position on 12 under, alongside two home stars in Russell Knox and Richie Ramsey as well as New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, Englishman Jordan Smith and Victor Perez of France.
Karthik shines in Asia-Pacific tournament
India’s Kartik Sharma turned his best show of the week to move with a whisker of a creditable Top-10 finish at the Asia-Pacific Championships in Shanghai. Sharma carded five-under 67 following up well on 68 in the second round to get to four-under 212 and Tied-11th place.
Aided by birdies on each of the four Par-5s, 19-year-old Sharma, who started the day 11 shots behind the leader, is now just four back.
The other Indians had a disappointing day. The 2018 runner-up, Rayhan Thomas, had a tough day off the tee shot 79, including a triple bogey on Par-5 18th. From T-33 he dropped to T-53. Harshjeet Singh Sethie (78) at 14-over was T-58 and Girraj Khadka (78) T-61.
Australian Blake Windred (74) had a mid-round collapse with four bogeys in five holes from the eighth hole, where a snap hook started his fall. He managed to recover with a birdie on 18th, even as playing partner, Ren Yonezawa, who wants to emulate teammate Takumi Kanaya by winning the AAC, dropped a crucial bogey on 18th for a two-shot swing. Both finished at eight-under 208.
Earlier, Yuto Katsuragawa (69) and Yung-Hua Liu (69) played solid rounds to get to eight-under and become clubhouse leaders. Sharma, who was T-13 at the same event last year, was in great form.
“I hit a lot of fairways. The only two I missed I still managed to birdie them. I found every green and putted well, though I feel I left a shot or two out there,” said Sharma. His sole bogey came on seventh, where he three-putted. “That was disappointing,” he added.
For the third straight day he had a good start, but this time he built on it with three birdies in last five holes and finished at 67.
He added, “I was apprehensive when I started because of discomfort due to a recent surgery. Once I settled in with another good start, two birdies in first three holes, things were fine. Unlike other days I also finished well with three birdies in last four.”
Thirteen players, including Sharma, are within four shots of the lead to set up an exciting final day. When Yonezawa and Windred, playing together arrived at the 18th, which had yielded many birdies, Yonezawa was at nine-under and Windred was seven-under. A gritty Windred handled it superbly and birdied, while Yonezawa missed a par putt and dropped a shot for a two-shot swing.
“That final birdie was big. Getting it after losing so many following the eighth where I had a snap hook felt real good,” said Windred. “It is always tough to follow up a 63 like I had on first day, but I am happy with the way I have held up. The last birdie was a big positive I will take away.”
He added, “It wasn’t my best performance, as all, but I was quite happy when I rolled that birdie putt in on the last.”