HWPGT 2015: Vani Kapoor grabs early lead at Jaipur

Vani Kapoor Hero Womens Professional Golf Tour Leg 2015Jaipur: Delhi youngster Vani Kapoor carded 1 under 70, the best score of the day to grab the lead on day 1 of the 18th and season’s final leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2015 at the Rambagh Golf Club here on Wednesday. Trailing her in the second position by a margin of two strokes is Ankita Tiwana. The INR 5,00,000 event will culminate on 27th November 2015.

Hero Order of Merit leader Vani started the quest for her sixth title of the season aggressively. She carded three birdies on the 1st, 5th and 8th holes, while dropping two shots on the 3rd and 7th holes in her front nine. She began her back nine with a bogey on the 10th hole that erased her advantage but two more birdies on the 15th and 17th holes helped her to regain the initiative. She could have ended with a better score but for a bogey on the 18th. Her tally of five birdies was the maximum by any player on the day.

Delhi’s Ankita Tiwana returned a card of 1 over 72 to finish second after the end of the first round. She played cautiously in her front nine, dropping just two shots on the 3rd and 4th holes while carding a birdie on the 5th. She made no further mistakes during the course of the day and played an even par back nine. Ankita won her maiden title in Srinagar last year and she will be eager to make the most of a good start by claiming the final event of the year.

Pune’s Shweta Galande carded 3 over 74 to take the third position after the first round. She began with bogies on the 3rd, 5th and 7th holes, but two consecutive birdies on the 8th and 9th holes helped her to repair the damage. She could not keep the momentum going in her back nine, dropping shots on the 10th, 13th and 14th holes as against a lone birdie on the 15th.

Kolkata’s Smriti Mehra, Jaipur’s Afshan Fatima and Panchkula’s Amandeep Drall returned with identical scores of 4 over 75, to be placed tied fourth after 18 holes. Smriti Mehra had an eventful front nine with three birdies on the 4th, 5th and 8th holes, along with four bogies on the 1st, 3rd ,6th and 9th holes. She faltered on her return journey with a flurry of four bogies on the 10th, 11th,12th and 16th holes, with just a lone birdie on the 15th. Local favourite Afshan Fatima played erratically, her round consisting of two birdies on the 8th and 9th holes, as against four bogies on the 3rd, 7th, 11th and 18th holes and also a double on the 1st. Amandeep Drall played a birdie-less round with four bogies on the 1st, 2nd,3rd and 7th holes.

Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal and Overseas player Kiran Matharu ended with identical scores of 6 over 77 to finish tied seventh followed by Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi and Delhi’s Ayesha Kapur in tied ninth position with identical scores of 9 over 80.

Samikshan Dutta Choudhury