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23rd February 2023 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Prat retains pole position in Jabra Ladies Classic

She said she was a bit annoyed at missing some short putts on Thursday, but Mireia Prat was pleased to still be in the lead after the second round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Open being played at Glendower Golf Club.

The Spaniard made five birdies and three bogeys over two very different nines for her, and that took her to 11-under through 36 hole and one stroke clear of Smilla Tarning Soenderby from Norway.

Mireia has some inform players in her rear-view mirror, though.

Recent Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am winner Moa Folke of Sweden is just two off the pace, and 11-time Ladies European Tour champion Lee-Anne Pace is three back in joint fourth with current Investec Order of Merit leader Lily May Humphreys of England and SuperSport Ladies Challenge champion Casandra Alexander.

“My back nine was much better than my front nine,” said Prat of her homeward loop which brough two birdies without any dropped shots. “I made three bogeys on the front nine, but at least I made three birdies too.

“I missed four putts inside two metres, which I’m annoyed about, but I also made some good putts for birdies and to save par a couple of times. The course is playing short, so the birdie chances are there, and the par-fives, especially, are gettable.”

She got her round going with a birdie on the first, and, after her opening nine-under-par 63, she must have felt that she was going to soar clear of the rest of the field.

But bogeys on four, five and nine brought her up short. “On nine, it was one of those short putts that I missed,” said Prat, “and on four too. On five, I had a difficult stance with my feet in a fairway bunker, and all I could do was bunt it towards the green with a six-iron. I got it to 50 metres but couldn’t get up and down from there.

“But I was at least making some birdies in between, on six and seven. On six, it was nearly a hole-in-one after I hit to about a foot, and on seven, I hit a good approach and made a good putt.”

Behind Prat, Soenderby had a superb round with her six-under 66 lifting her to second on 10-under. It was a round that had two bogeys in it, so she could have been in front.

Also shooting six-under was five-time Investec South African Women’s Open champion Pace, who moved menacingly into position for a final day charge.

Humphreys continues to impress, and although she shot only one-under, she stays in contention week after week, and she too could pull things together for a tilt at the top of the leaderboard at the tournament’s conclusion.

Alexander held things together with a two-under-par 70. With a double-bogey to kick things off, and two consecutive bogeys at the end of her round, she knows precisely what she needs to do on the final day on a course she knows as well as anyone.

For Prat, however, who has won twice on the Ladies European Tour Access Series, it will be a question of more of the same if she is to pull off a win at Glendower. “I saw the two 66s today,” she said, “so I know the birdies are out there. I need to make sure I don’t miss makeable putts.”