Aditi Ashok put herself in line for a second straight title as she moved into shared lead at the end of the third round of the Qatar Ladies Open, in Doha on Friday.
Teenager Aditi shared the lead with Nanna Koerstz Madsen from Denmark at 12-under-par heading into the final round at Doha Golf Club.
The other Indian to make the cut, Neha Tripathi added a round of 72 to her earlier rounds of 74 and 70 to be Tied 43rd.
Aditi is targeting back-to-back victories following her maiden win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open a fortnight ago, while Madsen is also looking for her second Ladies European Tour title after claiming her first win at the Tipsport Golf Masters in Pilsen in June.
The duo is a stroke ahead of Becky Morgan from Wales, with England’s Annabel Dimmock a stroke further behind in fourth place and fellow Welshwoman Lydia Hall alone in fifth on nine-under-par.
Aditi made a strong start with three birdies in her first seven holes and added further birdies at the 10th and 14th before carding a pair of bogeys on the 15th and 17th, which allowed Madsen to catch her. The duo then matched each other with birdies on the long 18th, the talented teen holing a putt of six yards for a round of 68.
"It was quite windy in the morning so I knew I had to be sharp with my approaches and I had a few birdie chances which I made, so that start was good," said Aditi, who is the LET’s leading rookie after her win in India.
"On the back nine, I just didn’t hit as good shots as I was hitting on the front nine and I miscalculated the wind a couple of times as well. I made a lot of putts on the front nine, so I was bound to miss a couple. I finished with a birdie, so it was good.
"It’s great to be in contention, the week after a win. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing this week. I played with Nanna today and she’s an aggressive player as well, so it will be fun tomorrow."
Madsen appeared frustrated as she made a run of nine straight pars going out, but she picked up the pace with four birdies and a bogey coming home in a round of 69.
Morgan moved right into contention for a first professional title when she fired eight birdies against two dropped shots in a 66.
The start of the third round was delayed by two hours and 40 minutes due to lightning and heavy rain.
IMAGE: India’s golfer Aditi Ashok reacts
Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters