February 27, 2009 4:02:35 am
Pornanong Phatlum isnt used to getting off the top spot at the DLF Golf and Country Club. She hadnt done it in four rounds of competitive golf at the course before Thursday began,and she managed to find a hold on it at the days end too,but the challengers are finally breathing down her neck. Hae-jung Kim notched up her game as Phatlum erred,and the 23-year-old Korean joined the Thai teenager in second-round lead at the Indian Open at four-under 140. Thailands Nontaya Srisawang shot four-under 68 to be two behind the joint leaders.
Phatlum had started with two early bogeys,and Kim first came level with her with a long putt on the par-four 15th. The gap stretched again as Phatlum birdied the 16th and the 18th,missing an eagle on the latter,but the Korean kept the pressure on with steady iron-play. She shot a two-under 70 as an unsteady Phatlum just managed level par.
It was a bad day for the Indians. Amateur Gauri Monga is the best-placed home player,tied 18th at five-over 149. Smriti Mehras putting woes meant she shot another four-over and tied 29th. Saaniya Sharma,tied seventh after a level par 72 on Day 1,fell off the perch with a nine-over.
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