Golfer Vani seeks season’s fifth title (Preview)

Bengaluru, July 21 (IANS) Defending champion Vani Kapoor will look to capitalise on her fine form as the 12th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour begins at the Prestige Golfshire here on Wednesday.

The three-day Rs.6,00,000 event will see 16 professionals and Trisha Sunil, the lone amateur vying for the top spot.

Hero Order of Merit leader Vani, with total earnings of Rs.11,80,200, has already posted four wins and four runner-up finishes this year, the latest being at Karnataka Golf Association (KGA).

Vani, who won twice at the Prestige Golfshire in 2012 and 2014, will be keen to add another title to her tally and extend the lead at the top of the season’s leaderboard.

The Delhi golfer will however face a strong challenge from rookie golfer Amandeep Drall, who is second in the Order of Merit with total earnings of Rs.7,64,935.

The Panchkula golfer, who will play for the first time at this course, is yet to win a professional title and has finished runners-up on three occasions this season. Amandeep will be eager to break the jinx and reduce the gap with Vani in the money list.

Sharmila Nicollet, who returned to the tour last week after a gap of three events, will also start as one of the strong contenders. The local sensation is yet to win a title this year and she will look to end her title drought.

Other golfers in the fray will be Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi and Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal. Veteran Smriti Mehra, who is third in the merit list, has opted out of this event.

Chandigarh’s Saaniya Sharma, who finished tied 7th in the last event, is also expected to mount a challenge for the title.

Mehar Atwal, Gauri Monga and Afshan Fatima will all be making their maiden appearances at this venue. Pune’s Shweta Galande who lost in the play-off against Vani last year here, will also be looking to make amends and win her first title since 2013.

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