India's Aditi Ashok turned in a plucky performance to make the halfway cut in her first LPGA event of 2017, as she shot three-under 70 to place herself in tied 39th place at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open golf tournament, here. Aditi, who has a limited status on LPGA, had a rough start in the first round with a one-over 74 at the Par-73 Royal Adelaide Golf Club. She is now two-under 144 through 36 holes and nine shots adrift of the leader, Orlando-based Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith (70-67). Sarah Jane, who was second at the recent RACV Gold Coast challenge on Australian LPGA Tour, has her husband Duane on the bag as her full-time caddy. Tied in second place are four players, of which two are past champions at the Hero Women's Indian Open, Caroline Hedwall (69-69) of Sweden and Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (68-70). The other two at second place are Americans Lizette Salas (68-70) and Marissa Steen (67-71). World No 1 Lydia Ko barely made the cut with rounds of 71-75 and world no. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (72-72) is tied 39, alongside Aditi. Meanwhile, the reigning Hero Women's Indian Open champion, Aditi made a good start on the LPGA. In the second round, two-time winner on Ladies European Tour, Aditi playing in the afternoon wave, teed off from the first and birdied the third to get to even par.
A bogey on ninth meant she was again over par, but was back to par with a birdie on 12th and another birdie on 15th saw her get back to red numbers. Once again there was a twist as she gave away that shot on the next hole to get back to the cut line. A superb eagle on the par-5 17th saw her jump to two-under. A par on 18th saw her finish there.
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