Patty Tavatanakit holds onto the lead heading into the weekend at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International

Patty Tavatanakit carded a second round of 70 (-2) to sit at the top of the leaderboard on eight-under-par at the midway mark of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF.

The Thai star held the lead after the first round and picked up where she left off at Riyadh Golf Club with a birdie on the fifth hole.

On the back nine, Tavatanakit rolled in back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 before dropping her only shot of the day on 17 for her round of two-under.

“I feel like if anything, given the situation, today was a little bit tougher,” said the Major champion. “The wind picked up in the afternoon, so I have basically played in the wind for the past two days. I’m proud of how I hung in there and executed each shot.

“I feel the wind helped me focus a little bit more because it’s a little bit tougher conditions and it would bring me into a place where we have to do this instead of just being ‘la la’ in my head.

“There’s a lot of self-talk, I tell myself to keep trusting myself and letting go of the expectations. I am excited to be in this position, I haven’t been here for a while. I’m going to do my best, regardless of the outcome, I’m so proud of how I played the past two days and there’s a lot of positives to bring into the upcoming events as well.”

Two shots behind

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Estrup and Belgium’s Manon De Roey both sit in second place on six-under-par.

De Roey, who finished tied third at the 2023 edition of this tournament, had four birdies and two bogeys on her scorecard.

“I am super happy with my game so far, today was a bit different,” said the Belgian LET winner. “I feel like I played better in the tough conditions, I didn’t know what to do without the wind! I rolled in some putts, so that was nice.

“I had a bit of an issue with my irons last year, they would go really far sometimes in tournaments, so I wanted to have more consistency and putting the new ones in has helped me a little bit in knowing exactly how far I am hitting. They have been doing great and I’m feeling confident with them.

“I know this is a big tournament, so I always want to perform well here. I build up to, so I’m happy that happened last year and this year. I’m on a good track, so let’s keep it up and hope for the best.”

Watch highlights from the second round

It was another good day for Broch Estrup who only dropped one shot on the fourth and made birdies on holes two, 12 and 17.

“I have had two really good days,” said the LET winner. “Two very different days! I feel confident in windy conditions, so today was more of a struggle for me but it was good to get a round of two-under.

“I’m starting my 10th year on tour, I’m more appreciative of life in general and the position I’m in and telling myself it’s just golf and not life or death. I know it’s very easy to say and it’s been hard for me to do that the last couple of years. I feel like I’m in a good spot and in general, I’m happy.

“For me this is about being in contention again, it could be on LETAS or on the LPGA. Today I was really nervous in the beginning. I see it more as an opportunity to work on that stuff now more than I’m afraid of those feelings and thoughts.”

Round of the week from Maguire

Four players are in a share of fourth place with Peiyun Chien, Amy Yang, Leona Maguire and Paula Reto all on four-under-par.

Irish star Maguire carded the round of the week so far with an excellent bogey-free 64 (-8) to catapult up the leaderboard.

“I’m really pleased,” said the Solheim Cup star. “I was a bit frustrated yesterday, I felt like I played better than the score reflected, and conditions were very tough and it was good to hang in there. It was nice to get off to a good start today and take advantage of the calmer conditions.

“I felt like I hit it nicely yesterday but didn’t have control of the ball and I hit 15 greens but didn’t putt well. Today, I hit 18 greens and putted better, so that always makes life a little bit easier.”

One shot further back, there are four players in a tie for eighth place with Chanettee Wannasaen, Johanna Gustavsson, Charley Hull and Alex Pano all on three-under.

The cut fell at +3 with 65 players making it through to the weekend of the $5,000,000 USD event with the leaders teeing off at 12.11 pm (local time) on Saturday. View the full leaderboard here.