Hedwall retains lead on day two at OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic

KT Report/Dubai
Filed on November 5, 2020
Caroline Hedwall of Sweden during the second round. — Supplied photo

Chasing a seventh LET title, Hedwall may have looked comfortable all day on the course but the 31-year-old Swede perhaps has the hardest part of her day ahead

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall added a bogey-free round of 70 (-2) to her Wednesday’s effort of 65 (-7) to keep her nose in front of the international leaderboard at the OMEGA Dubai Moonlight Classic.

Leading by one shot from England’s Meghan MacLaren at the end of the morning wave, the Swedish star again looked comfortable as she returned her second successive bogey-free round. While there were no hole-in-ones, 16 pars and two birdies ensured she sits atop the leaderboard for now, with the likes of Laura Fuenfstueck and Lydia Ko four and five shots back respectively, as they start their second round under the floodlights.

“I have been playing very steady, hitting a lot of greens and I’ve been good within two metres of the hole. Today I had a lot of putts that didn’t drop so maybe five under would have been a fair score but I’m in a good position for tomorrow and I am happy with my game.”

Chasing a seventh LET title, Hedwall may have looked comfortable all day on the course but the 31-year-old Swede perhaps has the hardest part of her day ahead.

“I am actually studying criminology at the moment to try and get a degree, it is nice to have something to focus on when you are back in the room. It is stressful at times with 100% of the course completed remotely. I’ve been doing lots of essays and I have one to do tonight as the deadline is tomorrow.”

With as many as ten nationalities occupying the top ten as it stands, MacLaren is her nearest challenger, just one-shot back at eight-under-par. While world No. 9 Minjee Lee is lurking at seven-under-par after a sublime 65 (-7), which included a front nine of 30 strokes.

MacLaren added, “I enjoy the conditions here, it’s in great condition and you just have to look around, it’s a great place to be. The good weather is a plus and it’s nice to come back somewhere you’ve been before, I’ve learnt from last year.”

Consistency is key to Lee’s game and she’s recorded a remarkable 52 career top-ten finishes since turning professional in 2015. In search of her first LET win, the Australian may not be studying like Hedwall but is comfortable with having to wait until tomorrow evening to start her final round.

“I don’t mind being inside until tomorrow’s afternoon round because it is so hot out here and I’m just going to trust I’ve done enough practice last week before I came out here. There are a few shows on my Netflix that aren’t available in America such as a few Korean dramas. I felt like I watched all of the American shows while we were in lockdown the first time, so I am happy to see some new options.”

Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen matched Lee’s round-of-the-week 65 to move from +4 to -3 on the leaderboard while American Alison Lee made the most of her LET debut, firing a round of 68 (-4) to move into the top-ten.

Formerly known as the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Masters, the inaugural tournament was played in 2006, with a strong rollcall of previous winners, including the two-time winner, Annika Sorenstam, and four-time champion, Shanshan Feng. Sorenstam won the first two events back to back in 2006 and 2007, while Chinese former world no.1, Feng, dominated from 2014-2016, winning the tournament three times in-a-row. The newly named and scheduled tournament has been switched from May to November after its first staging in spring 2019 when it achieved global recognition as the world’s first professional day-night tour event.

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