Anika Varma and Nikita Arjun push on as Mina Harigae separates herself from the field

Nikita Arjun (74) is lying T11 with Anika Varma (75) is in T13 at the Orange Tree Golf Club on the Cactus Tour. Mina Harigae leads by four strokes.

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Anika Varma - Noah Montgomery Images

11 June 2020: Nine women broke par on a friendly Wednesday as the 21st leg on the Cactus Tour dissolved into a two horse race. Mina Harigae shot birdies once again on all the four par-5s, enroute to a dominant 65. She earned herself a four-stroke advantage over Katherine Muzi, an amateur, who shot 67. Harigae is 12-under through 36 holes of this 54 hole event. Muzi is eight under while Meghan Royal is a further four strokes adrift from her in third place. Emilee Hoffman (73) dropped into fourth at 3-under with Hailey Borja (69) made it three amateurs in the top five.

Nikita Arjun played solid golf to start the day with eleven straight pars. She made birdies at the 12th &  14th holes, moving to two under for the day. Just when it looked like she was set for a strong finish, Arjun slipped to consecutive bogeys to concede the advantage. She steadied her boat with an even five on the 17th, but a double on the last hole meant that she took 74. At 3-over, Arjun is in T11 with Madeleine Laux.

“I am pretty happy with how I played today despite the way I finished the round. But in the end consistency is key,” said Nikita. “I drove the ball well off the tee and gave myself quite a few looks for birdie, but couldn’t get my putts to fall in all day till the 12th hole. But I’ve got another round to go and anything can happen!!”

Ankita Varma was one stroke behind Arjun, after producing a 75 on Wednesday. The teenaged amateur made a bogey on the opening hole but made amends immediately to fix the damage to her card. But a bogey on the seventh hole dented her card again as she made the turn at one-over for the day.

Two more bogeys were added when Ankita conceded strokes at the 11th and 13th holes to slip further down the order into T13.