By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 11/01/19 5:02pm
Charley Hull will take a slender lead into the final round of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open after a tough second day for the field in Abu Dhabi.
Fierce winds sent scores soaring at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and Hull’s battling, level-par 72 proved enough to keep her on top of the leaderboard ahead of compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
Hull, who led by two strokes overnight after her blistering 65 on day one, recovered from bogeys at six and eight with a birdie at the ninth to turn in level par, although she then slipped into a share of the lead with Luna Sobron when she dropped another shot at 13.
But a superb birdie at the treacherous 17th, where Hull rolled in a 15-foot putt for a two, got her back in front as Sobron dropped three shots in a row, and Hull safely parred the last to stay at five under par for the tournament.
“It was really tough out there today,” said Hull, who is chasing her second Ladies European Tour title and her first in almost five years.
“To give you an example, I flushed a seven-iron 118 yards on hole 17. The pin was 120 yards and I still came up short. I usually hit that club 165-170 yards, so that is a ridiculous wind.
“I’ve still got loads to work on for tomorrow’s round but I feel good with where my game’s at. Hopefully it’s not as windy, because my new irons are going super spinny, so it’s not ideal in this wind.”
Hull’s Solheim Cup team-mate Ewart Shadoff carded five birdies against three bogeys in a commendable 70 that matched the low round of the day, while only nine players are under par after 36 holes.
“Shooting 70 today definitely felt much lower than the previous day,” said the 30-year-old. “It was brutal and I hit 16 greens, which was really solid for these conditions. I hit two good putts on 16 and 17 which really helps.”
Marianne Skarpnord also fired a 70 to close on three under alongside Cajsa Persson (71), with Sobron slipping four shots off the lead after her poor finish.