Emily Pedersen finished her round with an eagle ©Tristan Jones / LET

Denmark’s Emily Pedersen holds a two-shot lead after the second day’s play at the inaugural Saudi Ladies International.

Pedersen carded a five-under-par round yesterday to lie third on the leaderboard, two shots shy of England’s Georgia Hall.

The 24-year-old produced three birdies during her second round at the Royal Greens Golf Club, which also included one bogey.

She finished her round with an eagle on the 18th.

It gave Pedersen a four-under-par round of 68, leaving her with the clubhouse lead on nine-under-par.

Wales' Lydia Hall remains second overall after a one-under-par round.

She lies two shots adrift of Pedersen.

Georgia Hall, who led after the first round, has slipped back to third place.

Hall, the winner of the 2018 British Open, carded a one-over-par round of 73 to finish the day three shots behind the leader.

Germany’s Esther Henseleit and Laura Fuenfstueck share fourth place at the halfway stage of the tournament.

The duo are currently five-under-par.

A prize fund of $1 million (£760,000/€846,000) is on offer at the tournament.

The Saudi Ladies International is scheduled to be followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International from November 17 to 19, which is worth $500,000 (£380,000/€423,000).

Competition is being held in a COVID-19 secure bubble, with organisers planning to conduct more than 1,500 coronavirus tests, including at least three each for the players, caddies and tournament staff.

No spectators will be allowed into either of the events in Saudi Arabia.

The tournament marks the first major women's golf event held in the country.

Saudi Arabia has received widespread international criticism of women's rights in the country.

Women were finally given the right to drive in 2018 and the strict male guardianship system has been relaxed, but Amnesty International still describes "systematic discrimination" and Government critics remain in jail.