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Matharu keeps momentum going and leads after two rounds

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For a second time in three weeks, its advantage to a foreign campaigner as Britain’s Kiran Matharu continued to stamp her dominance on the Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club on Wednesday.

Targeting a breakthrough on the Sunshine Ladies Tour after a third, a second and a fifth place finish in her first three starts, the 27-year-old from Leeds opened up a healthy three-stroke lead with a second round two-under 69 to top the scoreboard at five under 137.

Matharu believes she has the game to see it through, but she will keep an eye on Kim Williams and Ashleigh Buhai leading the chasing pack.

Williams soared into contention with a four-under 68 that included five birdies on the homeward loop and she finished at two under, one shot ahead of Buhai. The former Ladies European Tour winner tied for second with Matharu at the SA Women’s Masters and locked down a runner-up finish in last week’s SA Women’s Open. Buhai rocketed into third after shooting a 66 for the low round of the day.

Matharu hopes to get the putter working early to extend her advantage on the final day. ‘I started off a bit slow, dropped a shot at the second but I quickly got a birdie back at the fourth and on the back nine I made two birdies in a row, but I had a lot of birdie chances that I didn’t convert,’ she said.

‘In the first three tournaments I let myself down with poor second rounds. That’s when you need to move upwards to have a chance. That’s what I’ve done today, so tomorrow, I just need to get the ball to the hole, that’s all. I’ll stick to the same approach and play hole by hole, shot for shot.

‘That’s the best way to win, keeping it simple. I don’t think about winning or prize money or the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies points when I’m out there, because it detracts your focus. There are a lot of good players on my heels, so I have to stay in the moment.’

Williams won the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge and was equally pleased to have shot at victory. ‘The rough is really thick, so keeping the ball on the short stuff will be key to giving yourself chances to score,’ she said. ‘I’d love to get my hands on another trophy, but we’ll have to go low to catch Kiran, because she’s a quality player.’

It’s a tall order to catch the Englishwoman when you are four back, but Buhai is primed to give it a shot. ‘I was really happy with my five under,’ she said. ‘I worked a few things out on the range with Doug (Wood), my coach, and it definitely paid off.  If I can do what I did today and keep that feeling going, I could be in with a shout.’

Top ranked Lee-Anne Pace will start the final round six shots behind the leader in a tie for seventh with Monja Richards and Mae Cornforth after rounds of 71 and 72.

Second Round Scores
137 – Kiran Matharu (ENG) 68 69
140 – Kim Williams 72 68
141 – Ashleigh Buhai 75 66
142 – Nicole Garcia 74 68, Monique Smit 70 72, Carrie Park (KOR) 70 72
143 – Mae Cornforth 74 69, Lee-Anne Pace 71 72, Monja Richards 71 72
144 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 74 70, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 74 70
145 – Lejan Lewthwaite 75 70, Michelle Leigh 75 70, Lora Assad 74 71, Bertine Strauss 74 71, Catherine Lau AMA 73 72, Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 73 72
146 – Alexandra Lennartsson (SWE) 73 73, Ivanna Samu 71 75
147 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 73 74
148 – Chiara Contomathios AMA 75 73, Tandi von Ruben 72 76
149 – Nicole Becker 76 73, Maria Roos (SWE) 72 77, Hanna Roos (SWE) 71 78
150 – Mandy Adamson 76 74, Louise Larsson (SWE) 78 72, Clara Pietri (SUI) 79 71, Eleonora Galletti AMA 73 77, Sofia Ljungqvist (SWE) 73 77
151 – Caitlyn Macnab AMA 75 76, Siviwe Duma 77 74
152 – Morgana Robbertze 77 75, Kelsey Nicholas AMA 77 75, Larissa Du Preez AMA 78 74, Casandra Hall AMA 80 72
153 – Anna Sventrup (SWE) 80 73
154 – Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 76 78, Flavia Namakula (UGA) 76 78, Crizelda van Niekerk 75 79, Yolanda Duma 79 75, Lenanda van der Watt AMA 80 74
155 – Nora Angehrn (SUI) 75 80, Woo-Ju Son AMA 77 78
156 – Laura Sedda (ITA) 78 78
157 – Tijana Kraljevic 80 77, Lindi Coetzee AMA 82 75
159 – Lynette Fourie AMA 75 84, Alana van Greuning 85 74
160 – Julie Bruyns-Leach 79 81
161 – Frankie Bosman AMA 79 82
164 – Marguerite Pienaar 83 81
166 – Leslie Grandet (MAD) 85 81
168 – Adele Beytell AMA 85 83

Missed the cut:
175 – Wilna Bredenhann AMA (NAM) 86 89
WDN – Francesca Cuturi 84 WDN


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