New Delhi: Gauri Monga kept alive Indian hopes of a podium place intact as she carded a two-under 70 in second round to go to one-under 143 for the tournament at the Usha International Queen Sirikit Cup golf.
Playing at the unforgiving Delhi Golf Club today Gauri, who turns 18 only in October, had a stunning front nine as she was four-under after five holes.
Monga was five behind the 15-year-old leader Korean Hyo Joo Kim, the defending champion. Hyo added a second straight 69 to move to six-under 138.
Three behind the leader Hyo was Filipina Dottie Ardina (70) at three-under 141. Hyo`s colleague Ji Hee Kim shot the tournament best 68 to move to even par 144 for two days and she was fourth.
Hyo had five birdies and two bogeys, while Ardina, who dropped a double bogey on the 18th, had four other birdies. Monga had four birdies on front and none on the back nine, but she also dropped two bogeys.
In the team standings, defending champions Korea looking to win their fifth team title in a row, strengthened their position as Jee Hee Kim made up for her first day 76 with a four-under 68 on the second. That gave Korea a good lead six-shot lead after two days and are on way to retaining their title once again.
The second placed team is Philippines at 288. New Zealand and Chinese Taipei are third at 296, while China is fifth at 297 and India is 299. Malaysia is seventh at 302.
While Gauri Monga held the Indian team together, Vani Kapoor had a rough day with 77 and Aditi Ashok, just 12, carded 80 in the second round.
Monga was on a birdie spree in the morning as she racked up four in the first five holes, including two on the first two. She added two more on fourth and fifth. She held her nerve and turned in four-under and stayed there till the 12th.
She dropped her first bogey on the 13th when she went into the bushes off the tee. She took the medicine and a bogey and still seemed set for a fine finish, before her second shot disappeared into the bushes on the tempting par-five 18th
"I had four birdies in first five, but I still missed at least another two. I was a little disappointed with the back nine, where I had bogeys on the 13th and 18th. I was leaving the putts short. Hopefully I can wrap it up better on the last day," said Gauri Monga.
"I hit the ball well, but on the back nine nothing dropped."
Hyo, playing in one of the late groups, opened with birdies on first two holes. She however gave away a shot on third with a bogey, but got her third birdie on the par-3 fifth. She had another birdie on the long par-5 eighth. She
turned in three-under 33.
Hyo who birdied all four par-fives on first day, dropped a rare bogey on par-5 14th, but quickly collected herself to birdie the 15th. She parred the last three to end at a second successive 69 and six-under for 36 holes.