Natalii Gupta will be flying the flag for the UAE in the final 36 holes of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, after the 17-year-old was the only local player to make the cut at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Gupta, who was born and raised in Dubai, was a nominated player of the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) for the tournament. After a first round 74, the Indian surged up the leaderboard on day two after posting a brilliant three under par 69 to move up to tied 26th.
“It was a good day on the golf course today. I think I had five birdies. I was just trying not to short-side myself and play aggressively to all my lines and just hope for the best,” said Gupta. “I’d say I put myself in all the right places today. Just kind of worked out really.”
“I feel pretty good. I’m going to go work on my swing and some putting and just see how it goes the next two days really.
“It is a huge honour to be representing the EGF. I’ve lived here in the UAE all my life. It’s incredible to be able to get an opportunity and then make the cut here.”
Gupta’s brother, Arjun, competed in last week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, but failed to progress to the weekend.
“We’re not quite like that,” she said when asked if she would have bragging rights in the Gupta household. “He’s probably really proud of me.”
Will Arjun be cheering on his swinging sibling for the final two days?
“No!” she chuckled.
Thailand’s Natthakritta Vongtaveelap posted a bogey-free, four under second round of 68 to keep her two-shot lead intact, while Alia Al Emadi, Hamda Al Suwaidi and Hannah Cheryl Alan, the three other EGF nominated players, all missed out on the weekend.