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1st Aramco Saudi Ladies International

Playing ‘more humble’, Emily Kristine Pedersen proves form is temporary by nabbing halfway lead in Saudi

By Kent Gray
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Just ask Emily Kristine Pedersen.

The 24-year-old Dane entered last week’s Moonlight Classic in Dubai with the lead in the LET’s season-long Race to Costa del Sol and strangely changed the way she’d played to get into pole position. The result? A +8 total for a share of 41st place in the 56-strong field, 18 strokes behind Aussie winner Minjee Lee.

“I think I put too much pressure on myself during last week’s event in Dubai and thinking I needed to defend. I’ve just tried to be a bit more humble this week,” said Pedersen.

Fast-forward to Friday at King Abdullah Economic City and Pedersen’s reset is working a charm. A sparkling 67, capped with a closing eagle, propelled her to -9 and the top of the $1m Aramco Saudi Ladies International leaderboard.

Pedersen will take a two-stroke lead over Welshwoman Lydia Hall into moving day at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club with first-round leader Georgia Hall hanging on at -6 after a wind-impacted 73 to go with her opening 65.

Taking advantage of the calmer morning conditions, Pedersen overcame an opening bogey to go out in even par before playing her inward nine, Royal Green’s outward nine, in four-under. The eagle on the 9th, set up with a sweet hybrid into the par 5, was in stark contrast to her bogey on the same hole in her opening round of 67.

“I think I liked the pin a bit more on nine than yesterday, when I went in the water, as I could be a bit more aggressive. It’s always nice to finish like that.”

Lydia Hall got it to -8 at one stage but settled for a 71 to go with her opening 66.

Lydia Hall.

“It was a lot breezier this afternoon, a two-club wind in a lot of the holes,” said Hall. “My goal was to stick on level par so overall I’m really pleased. It’s so important to play one shot at a time – especially around here in the wind. I’ve been clear and focused over my shots so far and that’s my strategy going into the weekend.”

Georgia Hall, 24, was solid before a double bogey on 15 and bogey on 16 halted the former British Open champion’s momentum.

German duo Esther Henseleit and Laura Fuenfstueck are one back on -5 heading into the weekend. Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, whose brilliant, eight birdie 65 matched Hall’s course record established in the opening round, is at -2.

Impressive Moroccan Amateur, Ines Lakalech and leading Arabic player Maha Haddioui both made the cut.

More from the 2020 Aramco Saudi Ladies International
Georgia fires course record 65 as not one, but two Halls head Saudi leaderboard

Anne van Dam and Anna Nordqvist join Golf Saudi stable
Golf Saudi unveil sustainability strategy
Global broadcast of LET doubleheader “chance to show the world Saudi is…transforming through” golf
Hull and Hall ready to kick on in the Kingdom
Ladies First: Why Saudi’s LET double-header is more than just historic week of pro golf
Charley Hull: Is that all you’ve got, 2020?

 

Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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