Gurgaon : South African golfer Tandi Cuningham stole the show with the sizzling four-under 68 on a second day of the Hero Honda women`s Indian Open golf tournament here on Friday.
Overnight leader Laura Davies of England went wayward and ended up with a six-over 78, while European`s number one Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa finished with a five-under 77 to keep their duel for the Henderson Money List title alive.
The day belonged to pint-sized Cuningham who with her efforts took her two-round total to 140 to grab the lead by one-stroke over Italy`s Veronica Zorza and Cassandra Kirkland
of France who are in joint second spot.
"The key factor to my game on Friday was patience. I did not want to experiment other things on the course and went for a tidy play. My patience paid off," said Cuningham, adding that her mind was set on playing a bogey-free round.
After picking up strokes on the 6th, 7th and 15th, Cuningham said it was a sweet finish as she birdied the final hole that gave her the lead at the end of the two rounds.
She was in a similar position on two occasions back in tournaments in South Africa and she won them.
"So I hope it`s going to be the same too over here. I need to win this to surprise my husband with a holiday - not to the Park when Woods and Elin got married - but out of
Africa," she said.
"My shot were going well and for the final round on Saturday , it will be a do-or-die mission for me - aggression. I`m going going to charge. That`s my gamble,"she said.
Kirkland, another unheraded player shot the day`s lowest score of five-under 67 -- posting six birdies against a bogey on the fourth. Her best finish this year was at the Ladies
Scottish Open and a 16th place at the Open de France Feminin early this year.
"I was feeling comfortable - getting good swings and targeting well at the places I wanted to be. This was complimented by a good feel on the greens," said the 30-year-old.
Zorzi, also 30, from Verona, also isn`t having a very good season on the European Tour. Her best finish was a fourth place at the Tenerife Ladies Open in July and a 22nd place in
Korea last week.
"It was a not a real good effort from me but honestly I was lucky because other players too did not reurn with good scores. That made my game look good and I`m happy to be where I am today," Zorzi.
Davies was not disappointed and said: "Well I did not play badly but my putts were not falling though I was hitting well. There was nothing wrong with my mood or my mental
strength - just that things di not fall well in place."
Davies is now tied sixth with playing partner Pornanong Phatlum and three others at one-under 143.
Also coming on strong and sitting on fourth place are Thailand`s Nontaya Srisawang and Wales` Becky Morgan. Nontaya who is facing a three-year drought, is bent on breaking the duck.
"It about time for to get hold of a silverware and I`m close now - two strokes adrift - and nothing is impossible if I give it some serious effort," she said.