They were 12-under for 36 holes with rounds of 65-63 and two shots behind Thai sisters, Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, who shot an 11-under 59 in best-ball play to take a two-stroke lead. The Jutanugarns were 14-under 126 total at the rainy par-70 Midland Country Club after opening with a 67 in alternate-shot play. The teams will play alternate shots in the third round with the best ball on the final day.
Aditi, who plays her second Olympic Games next month, said, ''It got really soft, so whatever irons or wedges I had, I was just trying to go straight at the pin pretty much.'' ''I think that helped make a few birdies towards the end after the rain.'' The icing on the cake in the second round was on Par-4 12th, when Pajaree, while trying to hit close for Aditi to birdie, actually holed the second shot for an eagle. The pair had five other birdies.
The strategy for Aditi and Pajaree has been such that they are trying to plan around each other's strengths. The duo, which played junior amateur golf together, combined superbly.
Aditi said she was planning to ask the Thai for this team event, but the latter did it first and that's how they came together for an event that has a couple of top pairs with sisters like the Jutanugarns, Ariya, and Moriya, and the Kordas, Nelly, and Jessica, who slipped to T-23 after being tied first a day earlier.
Aditi said, ''She hit a lot of good shots out there,'' to which Pajaree added saying, ''She put it really good.'' Again displaying teamwork even in their answers, Aditi said, ''She gave me some good birdies chances, so definitely a team effort.'' On having no bogeys in alternate shot, Aditi said, ''We came close a couple of times but every time it happened I just wanted to hole it because it's not just me, you want to hold it for your partner.'' On their strategy of who tees off and when, Aditi said, ''I'm a short hitter and she bombs it. so we decided that I would tee off on the odd holes and she would do so on long ones.'' They also worked in a way that Pajaree would get the longer approach shots and Aditi would have shorter ones and a lot of putts, too. It all worked great for them with no bogeys over 36 holes.
Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton (65-65), lying tied-third, won the inaugural event by six shots in 2019. The tournament was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.