By Matt Smith
Dubai-based youngster Chiara Noja followed up her Thursday 68 with a solid second-round 70 on a humid morning at the Aramco Team Series — Jeddah event to stay in touch near the top of the leaderboard at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on Friday.

The 16-year-old German, who is balancing school studies with life as a golf professional on the Ladies European Tour,  was going strong with three birdies on a blemish-free card when her only blip came on the final hole.

Noja found the water on the notorious 18th, before scrambling with a brilliant putt to save bogey and sign for two-under and sit T4 in the clubhouse ahead of the afternoon wave of players — who will have to contend with breezier conditions.

“I just hit an awful shot,” Noja admitted of that error on 18. “I wasn’t nervous over it or anything. I had an eight-iron in, it wasn’t a long shot, and it was probably just the worst shot I have hit this year.”

Noja was still able to look on the bright side of a round that has her looking to pick up her first LET victory on Saturday.

“It’s OK. I saved bogey, so I will just forget about that shot.

“I played significantly better than yesterday, all day I played really well but just couldn’t get the putts to drop, with so many lip-outs and skimmed the hole all day. All in all I am pretty pleased with how I played up until that 18th, and final putt was a good one.”

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