‘I love playing in the wind, but for now, it’s one shot and one round at a time'

The Jumeirah Golf Estates player lies tied 12th at ARAMCO Saudi Ladies International at Riyadh Golf Club

By Chiara Noja

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Published: Fri 16 Feb 2024, 8:25 PM

There were horrendous windy conditions at times for round one of the $5 million ARAMCO Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF on the Ladies European Tour on Friday.

My recovery shots were up there while my putting really kept me alive, along with my short game. I tried to stay really committed to everything - coming off my injury last season. I’m still struggling mentally a little bit.

Today and yesterday, were really important for me to accept that bad shots are going to happen in these conditions. And I think I did a pretty decent job of that. My scores could have been even lower but for a few missed putts.

A few players said that putting in that wind was really difficult as well. How do you make sure that negatives don’t become too much of a mental block?

After my second round of 68, along with my first round of 74 – I am well placed on two under par and just six shots back of the leader.

I mean, I love playing in the wind. I grew up in England and played lots of golf in Scotland – especially junior golf. I have travelled a lot and I live in Dubai and Dubai is definitely not calm like it’s very windy there a lot of the time as well.

So, I’m used to playing in the wind. The only thing I don’t like is the wind and rain. We didn’t have any of that luckily so far this week.

Putting, I can agree is a little difficult in the wind, but I feel like if you’ve got the experience and you kind of understand what’s happening, you can tackle that as well. I like picking a start line and the rest will kind of sort itself out – but that is always easier said than done.

It’s kind of one shot and one round at a time, but having won once in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before, and now being in Riyadh, how great it would be to go all the way this weekend.

Riyadh Golf Club was the last golf course I played last year before I finally called it quits with the injury, so I think it would be a fun little 360 moment to go and win.

For Saturday’s third round I will just approach things the same way I did today, hopefully have some better tee shots and kind of stay patient.

This is my first event of the season. My goal was to make the cut and then see how it goes. I am just going to keep following that strategy.’

- Chiara is a 17-year-old golfer based in Dubai. She represents Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Round Two Leading Scores

P. Tavatanakit (Thai) 66. 70. 136.

N. B. Estrup (Den) 68. 70. 138.

M. De Roey (Bel) 68. 70. 138.

P. Reto (RSA) 67. 73. 140.

P. Chien (Chinese Taipei) 70. 70. 140.

A. Yang (South Korea) 70. 70. 140.

L. Maguire (Ire) 76. 64. 140.

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