Gurgaon: Nalini Singh Siwach was off to another great start as she carded a two-under 70 and opened a three-shot lead at the end of the first round of the Hero-WGAI Women’s Pro Golf Tour. Nalini, still looking for his first win of the season, despite having come close to it more than once, is three clear of veteran Smriti Mehra, who has already won twice in first four legs.
Neha Tripathi and Saaniya Sharma, also winless this year, are tied for third at 74 each, while Vani Kapoor struggled on the back nine with four bogeys in her 76 that put her in fifth place. Shraddhanjali Singh (77) completed the top-six.
Nalini, who led for two rounds before being overtaken in the final round by experienced Smriti in Srinagar last week, had two birdies in first three holes on first and third on Wednesday. She was steady with pars till the 12th, where she dropped her lone bogey of the day. A birdie on par-5 14th brought her back to two-under and she stayed there.
Smriti Mehra with a bogey on second and seventh and a birdie on third turned in one-over. A double bogey on 14th and a bogey on 16th, put her at three-over, but the experienced Smriti turned the situation around with great birdies on 17th and 18th to stay in touch with the leader.
Neha had just one birdie against three bogeys in her 74 and Saaniya after three bogeys had to wait till the 18th for her only birdie.
Vani Kapoor bogeyed the second and then bogeyed the 10th. But three bogeys in a row from 14th to 16th saw her at five-over before a birdie on 18th gave her some consolation in a round of 76.
This season Smriti is the only multiple winner with two titles, while Sharmila and Vani have won once each.
In the first round Ankita Tiwana was unlucky as she was docked a two-shot penalty as her caddie took a short cart ride without the player knowing. Ankita ended the day at 80, two behind Rani Sonti and Meghna Bal, both of whom had 78.
Last week in a similar incident Nalini Singh (Sr) had suffered a penalty and missed the cut.
Tee times for Round 2:
8:30 AM: Priya Puri (86) / Pallavi Jain (85)
8:40 AM: Vandana Agarwal (83)/ Preetinder Kaur (82)/Nikki Ponappa (80)
8:50 AM: Ankita Tiwana (80) / Meghna Bal (78) / Rani Sonti (78)
9:00 AM: Shraddhanjali Singh(77)/ Vani Kapoor (76)/ Saaniya Sharma (74)
9:10 AM: Neha Tripathi (74) / Smriti Mehra (73) / Nalini S. Siwach (70)
By Indian Sports News Network