Kolkata: Mille Saroha stole the show on the opening day of the Usha All India Ladies Amateur Golf Championships, even as all eyes were focused on Aditi Ashok and Gurbani Singh, who are engaged in a keen battle for the Order of Merit.
Millie, winner of the Usha Northern India Amateur Championships earlier in the season, shot one-over 70 and took a handy three-shot lead over the reigning champion and playing partner Aditi Ashok (73). Gurbani, who is one point ahead of Aditi in race for Order of Merit, was one shot further behind at 74 at the par-69 Tollygunge Golf Club.
The top-three will play together in the second round, following which the top-16 will qualify for the Matchplay section of the tournament.
Ridhima Dilawari and Gursimar Badwal were tied for fourth at 75 each while Tvesa Malik, Astha Madan and Amandeep Drall carded 77 each.
The top three girls found the front nine of his lovely course rather difficult to negotiate and had no birdies over it. Millie who had just one bogey on par-5 seventh holes, had two birdies – on 14th and 18th and two bogeys 12th and 16th and a card of one-over 70.
Aditi, who has had a great season in virtually all sense and is looking to add the Ladies Order of Merit and this title as well, dropped bogeys on third and sixth. She birdied the tenth, but then had back-to-back bogeys on 11th and 12th before finding a birdie on 17th. But she closed in a disappointing fashion dropping a valuable shot on the closing hole for a four-over 73.
Gurbani was three-over for the front nine, but she birdied the 14th at which stage she was only two-over. But three bogeys in a row from 15th to 17th spoilt the day and she ended at five-over 74.
This season Gurbani has won two regional titles, the Usha Southern India and Usha Western India titles, while Mille Saroha grabbed the Usha Northern India crown and Amandeep Drall won the Usha Eastern India. The reigning All India Ladies and juniors champion, Aditi, has won twice, but in none of the regional’s.
By Indian Sports News Network