Arjuna Award winner Aditi Ashok on the ascent in Arkansas

Aditi Ashok will head into Round 3 of the Arkansas Championship tied-28 on the leaderboard.

By Utathya Nag

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award on Saturday, made her week even better as she made the cut at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on the LPGA Tour.

The Rio 2016 Olympian was tied-28 on the leaderboard with a cumulative five-under 137 (two under 69 in Round 1 and three-under 68 in Round 2) after playing some more than solid golf over the two days at the Pinnacle Country Club course.

The performance comes as a welcome boost for the 22-year-old Aditi following a disappointing couple of weeks which saw her miss the weekend cut at the Scottish Open and Women’s Open golf.

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok.

Aditi Ashok, a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, started her first round from the 10th and got the ball rolling with a birdie. She, however, lost ground immediately after, carding a double bogey on the par-three 11th hole.

Another birdie on the par-three 17th saw her end the back nine on even-par 35.

In the front nine, Aditi Ashok carded an early bogey on the second hole but bounced right back with back-to-back birdies on the par-four fourth and fifth holes.

She hit another birdie on the par-five seventh to finish the first round with an impressive two under 69. As play wrapped up for Day 1, Aditi Ashok was placed tied-44 on the leaderboard.

On Day 2, the Olympian barely put a foot wrong in the front nine of the second round. Aditi Ashok only strengthened her position with birdies on the 4th and 5th – both par-four holes – and was four-under when play was stopped due to bad weather.

As play resumed, the Gurgaon-born golfer showed no signs of any lapses in her concentration and ended the front nine without losing any more shots.

She continued with the steady tempo in the back nine and notched up birdies on the 14th and 16th holes to surge up the table. Her first bogey of Round 2 came on the par-three 17th hole as the Indian ended with five-under. The cut was set at two-under.

Arkansas Championship leaderboard

Swedish golfer Anna Nordqvist leads the pack at Arkansas after Round 2 with a 16 under-par 126 (seven-under 64 in Round 1 and nine-under 62 in Round 2).

An eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Nordqvist currently holds a three-shot advantage over South Korea’s Sei Young Kim.

Three golfers - USA’s Nelly Korda and Austin Ernst and South Korea’s Jenny Shin - are tied in third place at 12-under.