Trust in abilities: Ashleigh Buhai is closing in on her fifth Sunshine Tour title. Picture: LUKE WALKER/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES
Trust in abilities: Ashleigh Buhai is closing in on her fifth Sunshine Tour title. Picture: LUKE WALKER/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES

Ashleigh Buhai tightened her grip on the Cape Town Ladies Open, but the Glendower pro has defending champion Lee-Anne Pace snapping at her heels at Royal Cape Golf Club.

Buhai was the picture of composure on Wednesday as she fired a flawless second round six-under-par 68 to close in on a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

"It’s not in the bag, yet, but it’s great to go out and play with some confidence," Buhai said after moving to nine under 139.

"I struggled to adapt to the new clubs after Nike pulled their equipment, but after working with my coach [Doug Wood] at the Tshwane Ladies Open, I handled them better and felt the improvement in the second and third rounds. This week I really feel comfortable and it’s showing in my scores."

Pace is chasing her 11th trophy finish on the Sunshine Ladies Tour after achieving a historic hat-trick in the SA Women’s Open two weeks ago.

After a mediocre even-par 74 start, Pace was on fire with birdies at the second and third and added another brace of birdies at the fifth and sixth.

A trio of gains from the 12th followed by four straight pars on the back nine for a 68 put Pace in second at six under.

"The only blip on my card was the bogey at seven where I didn’t up-and-down," Pace said.

"I hoped to take advantage at the six par fives but I only managed to birdie three and I bogeyed seven, so things didn’t exactly go to plan. Overall, I’m pleased. I played well tee to green and the putting was solid."

Former Sun International Ladies Challenge champion Tandi von Ruben and four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman are six off the pace after posting respective rounds of 72 and 73, while SA Women’s Masters champion Carrie Park carded a 71 to move to fifth at two under.

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