Golfer Vani firm favourite at KGA

Bengaluru, July 14 (IANS) Delhi’s Vani Kapoor will look to sustain her good form and continue her winning run in the 11th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour to be played at the picturesque Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) here from July 15 to 17.

The Rs.7 lakh event will see 18 professionals and six amateurs fighting it out for top honours.

Vani, who won the last leg and leads the Order of Merit with total earnings of Rs.10.4 lakh, has posted four wins in 10 appearances this season. She was pipped to the title last year by Pune amateur Raksha Phadke but will look to seal her maiden professional title here.

The Delhi youngster is, however, expected to face a stiff challenge from rookie Amandeep Drall, who is currently second in the money list with total earnings of Rs.6.85 lakh.

The Panchkula golfer who has played consistent so far in the season is yet to register a win and will be eager to open her account at KGA.

The event will also see the return of Sharmila Nicollet. The local sensation, who skipped the last three events on the tour, is all set to make a comeback at her home course. Sharmila is yet to win a tournament this year and will be eager to bag her first title at KGA.

Others to watch out for will be Kolkata’s Smriti Mehra, Neha Tripathi and Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal. Veteran Smriti Mehra, with two wins in nine appearances, is placed third in the Order of Merit with total earnings Rs.6.8 lakh. Trailing her in fourth and fifth positions respectively are Neha and Gursimar.

Saaniya Sharma of Chandigarh, who played splendidly in the last leg and finished second, will also be eyeing her first win of the year.

Mehar Atwal, Gauri Monga and Amandeep Drall will all be making their maiden appearance as professionals at the KGA. Pune’s Swetha Galande, who last won a tour title in 2013, will also be keen to make an impact here.

Among the amateurs, defending champion Raksha Phadke along with Aditi Ashok, Trisha Sunil, Astha Madan, Diksha Dagar and Suchitra Ramesh, will look to match the pros and put up a good show.

The par 72 golf course, which is located in the heart of Bengaluru, is one the finest courses in India and is all set to test the skills of the players. The tour comprises of 19 legs spanning across key locations in India.

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