Nalini takes lead from Sharmila

Panchkula: Nalini Singh Siwach, one of the young guns of Indian women’s golf, overcame a last-hole bogey to bring in the day’s only sub-par card that gave her a handy lead at the end of the eighth leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. Nalini (72) moved to the top at 147 and behind her were Sharmila Nicollet (77) and Saaniya Sharma (78) at 150 and 151.

Nalini shot a card of one-under that included three birdies on the back nine, spoilt only by the bogey on  the last hole. She also had one birdie and two bogeys on the third and fourth on the front stretch. She led the field with a total of one-over 147.

Meanwhile first round’s joint leaders Sharmila Nicollet, the current leader on the Hero Women’s Order of Merit, and Saaniya Sharma suffered a big blow with finishing blues. Sharmila in particular dropped four shots including a double bogey six on the 18th. Earlier she had a double bogey on the par-5 fifth. In all she had four birdies, four bogeys and two double bogeys in her four-over 77 that saw drop to second place at 150. Sharmila is also gunning for her third title in a row, following wins in sixth and seventh legs of the Hero WPG Tour.

Saaniya had two triple bogeys, one each at the start and the end of the round, both on par-4s. She also had a double bogey on seventh a bogey on ninth. Her three birdies in a row from 10th to 12th were a consolation of sorts on a day when she shot 78. She was third at 151.

Smriti Mehra brought herself back into the tournament with an even par 73. Apart from Nalini she was the steadiest with no major ups and  down with two birdies and two bogeys to move to 153 after a disappointing first round of 80.

Neha Tripathi (76-78) at 154 and Meghna Bal (81-77) at 158 were fifth and sixth.