Hero Women’s golf: Smriti defeats Nalini for title

Hero Women’s golf: Smriti defeats Nalini Pune: In an exciting fight in the final round of the 14th leg of the Hero Women’s professional golf tour Smriti Mehra edged out Nalini Singh Siwach. Mehra carded an even par 71 even as Nalini (70) shot the only sub-par round of the week.

Nalini trailing by five after first day had reduced the two on Thursday and then it became one, but that's where it ended. Nalini even led on the back nine for a brief while but Smriti held her own to win her sixth title of the season and also extended her lead in the Order of Merit. Smriti’s final round 71 saw her finish the tournament at two-over 215, while Nalini was at 216.

Third placed Saaniya Sharma (73) was way back at 227 while Neha Tripathi (75) and Preetinder Kaur (75) were tied fourth at 234. Shraddhanjali Singh (80) was sixth at 237. Vandana Aggarwal (242), Ankita Tiwana (244) and Pallavi Jain (250) finished further behind in that order.

Starting the day two shots ahead, Smriti bogeyed the first hole, even as Nalini parred to reduce the gap to one. When Smriti birdied the fourth and seventh, the gap became three shots, but a birdie from the senior player on ninth saw her only two ahead at the turn.

After the turn Smriti bogeyed the tenth, but birdied the 11th as Nalini parred both. Then it was Nalini moved ahead by one, as she birdied the 12th and 13th, while Smriti bogeyed the 13th.

The battle swung Smriti’s way once more as she parred the 14th, while Nalini bogeyed. On the 15th, Smriti birdied and Nalini parred the 15th. Smriti was once again one ahead and then with Nalini picking a birdie two on par-3 16th, it was even once again. Both parred the 17th, while Nalini buckled under pressure and dropped a bogey on 18th to leave Smriti a victor by one.