Golfers Vani, Neha fire 66 to take lead

Gurgaon, March 17 (IANS) Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi sizzled with identical scores of six-under 66 in the second round to grab the lead in the seventh leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour being played here on Thursday.

Both Vani and Neha have identical totals of four-under 140 at the Classic Golf & Country Club. One shot adrift, in joint third position are Kiran Matharu and Gursimar Badwal at 141 after the penultimate round.

Overnight leader Amandeep Drall could not replicate her first round heroics and carded two-over 74 to finish the round in tied fifth position with Bengaluru’s Sharmila Nicollet. Amandeep has a 36-hole total of two-under 142.

Delhi’s Vani, who had struggled in the first round with a two-over 74, played a flawless round. She carded four birdies on the second, third, sixth and seventh holes in her front nine. She added two more on the 17th and 18th for a 66.

Hero Order of Merit leader Neha played a cautious front nine, carding a birdie and a bogey apiece on the fifth and seventh holes respectively. However, the professional from Kolkata turned on the heat in the latter half, firing four birdies on the 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes, along with an eagle on the 18th to share the lead with Vani.

Defending champion Kiran Matharu carded 71 in the second round, while Gursimar Badwal played an impressive round of 67 to share the third position with the former.

Amandeep played a bogey-free front-nine with a birdie on the 3rd hole. However, three bogeys on the 15th, 17th and 18th meant that she had to be content with a total score of 142 after the second round. Sharmila Nicollet carded 69.

Kolkata’s Smriti Mehra is placed seventh with a total score of 147, followed by Delhi’s Mehar Atwal and Mehak Sharma in tied eighth position at 148.

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