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Hillier has caddie to thank for LET rally

A stern talking to from her caddie was just what Wendy Hillier needed to kick start her second round at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International in Saudi Arabia.

Hillier finished with a three-under 69 to go with her opening 70 to find herself just four behind English leader Alice Hewson, who set the pace with a blistering 64 for a nine-under total and a one-shot lead.

But it threatened to unravel early for Hillier at the picturesque Royal Greens Golf and Country Club as she went bogey-bogey, prompting some strong words from her caddie.

“First two holes I started bogey-bogey – and I had a good chat with my caddie who told me to get my finger out – so I did, and hit one of my best shots of the day on three and made a birdie from there,” said Hillier.

“That got it going and I just had fun, more than anything.”

The 30-year-old from Joondalup recovered from her early mishaps to post further birdies on the seventh, ninth, 10th and 13th. She went bogey-free for the rest of the round to be tied sixth.

Compatriot Minjee Lee (68) was also in contention until disaster struck on the last.

The world No.5 was putting together a stellar bogey-free round that included five birdies and an eagle before making a triple bogey eight.

It dropped her to three under following her opening 73, six behind Hewson and in joint 12th position.

Stephanie Kyriacou followed her opening 73 with a 72, mixing four birdies with four bogeys to be one over.

She is hoping to repeat her heroics of last year when she fired a final-round 63.

“I’m just struggling to hole putts. I’m hitting it fine. It’s windy so it wasn’t a bad score – and I’ve made the cut which is always good, I guess.

“Hopefully, I can channel some inner thoughts from last year and shoot nine-under again – not to toot my own horn!

“If I shoot a low score tomorrow, I think I’ve still got a chance.”

Hewson recorded nine birdies and a solitary bogey to head Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen.

“I really enjoyed my day,” Hewson said. “It didn’t really feel like a 64, I just took every shot as it came. I putted really well today – I think I only had 22 putts – and that really helps on these greens.”

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