Afshan stumbles, recovers to keep title hopes alive in Panchkula

Afshan Fatima - TheGolfingHub
Afshan Fatima, who held a two-shot lead after the first round, shot 2-over 74 and was even par 144 and one shot ahead.

Afshan Fatima stumbled in the middle of the round but managed to stay in the lead at the end of the second round of the 14th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Panchkula Golf Club.

Afshan, who held a two-shot lead after the first round, shot 2-over 74 and was even par 144 and one shot ahead of Ridhima Dilawari (73-72) who was tied third after the first round.

Related: Afshan Fatima rolls back years to surge atop leaderboard

Chasing Afshan and Ridhima is teenager Hitaashee Bakshi, who made up for her first round 76 with a 2-under 70 in the second with a solid back nine that saw three birdies in the last eight holes. She moved up to tied third with amateur Vidhatri Urs (73-73), who had a rough front nine but a steady back nine.

Afshan has not won since the 13th leg of the 2018 season, though she has been runner-up three times, including twice in 2019. After leading for two days, she will be looking forward to ending the long title drought.

Jyotsana Singh (80-67) and Seher Atwal (73-74) are also in the running, just three behind the leader.

Jyotsana had a dramatic 13-shot improvement on her first round score of 8-over 80, as she carded the second day’s best score of 5-under 67 that saw her log four birdies in the last eight holes. Jyotsana shared the fifth place with Seher at 3-over 147.

Amateur Lavanya Jadon (76-72) and Khushi Khanijau (73-75) were tied for seventh at 4-over 148 and three players, Gaurika Bishnoi (72-78), Saaniya Sharma (73-77) and Siddhi Kapoor (78-72) were tied ninth. Siddhi had the only eagle of the day on the Par-5 12th hole.

Gaurika, who was second after the first day, slipped badly with six bogeys and a double bogey against two birdies. She has dropped to tied ninth at six-over 150.

The cut fell at 12-over 156 as 23 players made it to the final round.