India’s Aditi Ashok staged a remarkable fight back on the back nine of the second round to make the cut at the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup in Rabat.

The 18-year-old Indian, who won the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School to earn playing rights on the Ladies European Tour, carded a first round of even par 72 late yesterday.

She followed that up with a 74 and is now two-over 146 for two rounds and tied 31st but half the field is yet to finish.

The other Indian, Vani Kapoor missed out carding 77 and 76.

“I played well on both days but could have saved a few more shots,” said Aditi, who has her father, Ashok on the bag.

Speaking of her double bogey in the second round, she said, “I found the green side bunker and couldn’t get out of it and so I had a double bogey. But I am proud that I came back well on the back nine with three birdies. I holed some good long putts to make birdies.”

As for the final two rounds, she added, “I hope I can keep the ball in play and create more chances during the weekend.”

Aditi was eight shots behind leader Florentyna Parker of England, who opened with a five-under par 67 and added a one-under 71 on second to get to six-under for 36 holes.

Parker was two ahead of another English player, Liz Young (68-71).

This is only the third start as a pro for Aditi – she made the cut in her first appearance at the Australian LPGA in Victoria but missed the cut at New Zealand Open in February. She then took a break to finish her school-leaving examinations before returning to the Tour this week.

In the first round, Adiit began well with birdies on second and fourth, before dropping a shot on ninth. She found a third birdie on 10th, but then bogeys on 12th and 18th saw her finish at even par.

Aditi was in danger of missing the cut as she went four-over on the front nine. But she turned the corner and then in a space of four holes between 11th and 14th, she nailed three birdies to get to one-over for the day.

A late bogey on 16th dropped her down again to two-over, but she was safely inside the cutline, which is projected at four-over.

To her credit, she did not give up after the early setbacks with a bogey on first, a double on fifth and another bogey on ninth. She steadied with a par on 10th and then birdied 11th, 13th and 14th to pull herself back into the tournament.

Parker, who saw the shaft of her driver during the Pro-Am, received a new club just before the first round and shot 67 on the first day at the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. That equalled the women’s tournament course record.     

Parker was two ahead of ahead of her best friend, and English compatriot Liz Young (68-71), who is four months pregnant and is now tied second with Frenchwoman Isabelle Boineau (70-70).

Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord shot 68 in the first round and was even par through five holes in second, while Gwladys Nocera (73-79) was among those at tied-fifth at two-under.



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