Doherty stays ahead

Amanda Doherty continued her impressive form at the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Aviv Clinics firing a round of 67 (-5) to lead by one shot at the midway mark.

After a first round of six-under at Galgorm Castle, the 24-year-old followed it up with a round of five-under at Massereene.

Doherty began her round with back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes and rolled in three more on six, seven and nine to make the turn in 31 (-5).

Despite a dropped shot on the 11th, the LPGA Tour rookie made another birdie on 13 to finish with a total of 11-under-par after 36 holes.

“Putts were going in today. I was hitting the ball well to get it close enough for them to go in, but they were just falling in,” she said.

“That was definitely the best part of my game on the front nine. I then tried to hang on on the back nine, but I was putting really well today.

“Leading is not a position I have really been in before on the LPGA, so it’s always fun. It’s nice to know that I have some good, low rounds in me for sure. The last two years on the Epson Tour were a really good learning experience for me, and I think to have put myself in contention so many times last year makes me feel a little bit more comfortable with the position that I’m in now.”

Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen — winner of the 2020 Race to Costa del Sol — and American Lauren Coughlin sit one shot back on 10-under-par.

Solheim Cup star Pedersen got off to a blistering start with four birdies in her opening four holes, she made bogeys on eight and 11 but rolled in three more birdies for a second round of 68 (-5) at Galgorm.

Coughlin also carded an excellent round of 68 (-5) at Galgorm which included two eagles, three birdies and two bogeys.

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