Women's golf: Smriti takes one shot lead over Nalini

smritiGurgaon: It will once again be a clash between youth and experience as Smriti Mehra will try to fend off Nalini Singh Siwach’s challenge in the third and final round of the fifth leg of the Hero-WGAI Women’s Pro Golf Tour. Smriti, who rallied in the final round of the last event to beat Nalini, will take a one-shot lead in the third round on Friday at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Smriti, who shot 73 in first round, already a winner in two of the four legs, shot a superb four-under 68 to move to three-under 141, while Nalini after a first round 70 carded an even par 72 in second and is placed second at 142.
Vani Kapoor is a distant third with round of 76 and 73 and she is tied with Saaniya Sharma (74-75) and both are at 149.
Neha Tripathi (74-79) in fifth place and Meghna Bal (78-79) complete the top six.
Smriti, who is using all her experience to pull herself ahead of the pack, birdied the second but gave that shot away on the fifth. But a birdie on the very next hole saw her go through the front nine in one-under. Birdies on the tenth and 12th saw her move to three-under, even as Nalini was one-over at that stage. Both were playing in the same lead group.
Smriti dropped a bogey on 13th while Nalini bogeyed the 15th. Then both had a great birdie-birdie finish with birdies on 17th and 18th. Smriti’s 68 as compared to Nalini’s 72 helped her wipe out the overnight three-shot deficit and move one ahead.
Vani Kapoor had bogeys on the fourth and 18th and her only birdie of the day came on par-4 17th.
Saaniya looked in great form with two birdies and no bogeys on front nine. She continued that great work with a third birdie on 12th at which stage she was three-under. But a double bogey on par-4 13th was the start of her troubles. She then lapsed into a series of errors with bogeys on four of the last five holes to end up at 75.
On Friday in the final round, Smriti will play with Nalini and Vani Kapoor. Smriti is looking for her third title of the season, while Nalini is in search of her first. Vani has won once.