In-form Emily Kristine Pedersen remains firmly in the hunt for a unique ‘Saudi Sweep’ following another superb performance on day two of the inaugural Saudi Ladies Team International.
The 24-year-old Dane won last week’s inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund and her team of Michele Thomson (Scotland) and Cassandra Hall (RSA) are joint leaders (-27) with one round to go at the Ladies European Tour event.
“We are loving playing together and having a good time,” said Thomson.
“It’s a great new event. We’re here for Emily to make all the birdies and us to make all the pars! It gives us a confidence boost that she [Pedersen] picked us and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Two shots back are Team Nuutinen (-25), with Team De Roey, Team Engstrom and Team Henry all firmly in the mix at 23-under after taking advantage of some rare benign afternoon scoring conditions.
The players are also vying for an individual prize this week as part of the Ladies European Tour’s Race to Costa Del Sol, with $500,000 total prize money on offer.
Luna Sobron Galmes’ strong Saudi Arabian form continues after she posted an outstanding 65 to equal Royal Greens Golf & Country Club’s women’s course record and build a one-shot lead on 10-under.
The 26-year-old pitched in from 73 yards for an eagle on 17, with a red-hot putter also helping her find seven birdies.
“I’m very happy with my round,” said the Spaniard. “The key was my putter but you also have to be accurate with your long game on this course. I’m not thinking if I can win either event or not – I’m just playing my game.”
Pedersen (-8) remains ominously positioned in second place and is in the hunt to win the team, the individual and Race to Costa Del Sol rankings this week.
Pedersen said: “My focus is on the team this week and I am going to do my best regardless, for the team or the individual, and I hope I can keep making birdies and we can get it done as a team tomorrow.”
Round one leader Sanna Nuutinen (-6) and long hitting Anne van Dam remain in touch of the leaders on seven-under, with English star Charley (-5) also in contention with one round to go.
The standout player of the day was Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF runner-up Georgia Hall, who bounced back from a poor opening day with a ball striking masterclass to match her own course record of 65 and move to four-under.
She said: “I found putting the disappointment of last week behind me hard, especially with such a quick turnaround.
“It’s obviously quite a different format of things and to be honest my head really wasn’t quite in it yesterday. I did play very well today, so it was good to get a very low round in. I kind of needed it after yesterday.” – Georgia Hall
The Saudi Ladies Team International has been given a party atmosphere with live music on the range, walk on entrance music, ice cream stops and all players being in with a chance to win a brand-new QX50 Infiniti car with a hole in one on the course’s iconic par-three 16th.
Saudi Ladies Team International Format:
Each team will play three rounds, where their two lowest scores per hole are carded – with amateurs receiving ¾ of their official playing handicap. For example: two birdies on the par four first hole would put that team on a score of two-under par