Mehar grabs opening round lead in women’s golf

Bengaluru, July 8 (IANS) Defending champion Mehar Atwal played the only under-par round of one-under 71 to grab the opening round lead in the 10th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Eagleton Golf Resort here on Wednesday.

Trailing Mehar by one stroke are Gursimar Badwal, Vani Kapoor, Ankita Tiwana and Saaniya Sharma, who are tied for the second spot with identical 72s after the first round.

Mehar, who won the event here last year as an amateur, started off confidently and was on par score till the sixth hole. She dropped her first shot on the seventh but recovered soon by carding her first birdie on the ninth.

In the back nine, Mehar dropped a shot on the 11th. However, two birdies on the 12th and 17th saw her race ahead of the pack.

Gursimar, who could have easily played an under-par round, carded five birdies on the fourth, 11th, 13th, 17th, and 18th holes, a record for the day that she shared with Vani.

However an equal number of bogeys on the second, fifth, seventh, eighth and 12th undid the good work, and she had to be content with an even-par score.

Hero Order of Merit leader Vani carded five birdies, but dropped three shots along with a double bogey to score 72.

Rani Sonti shared the sixth spot with Neha Tripathi after scoring two-over 74.

Rani started on a confident note and carded birdies on the first two holes. However, she could not continue the good run, and dropped shots on the eighth, 10th, 12th, 13th and 17th, while her only birdie in the back nine came on the 15th.

Neha carded birdies on the first and 17th, while dropping shots on the eighth, 13th, 15th and 16th holes to finish at tied sixth position.

Amandeep Drall and Priya Puri are tied eighth with identical scores of 75. Veteran Smriti Mehra could not deliver on the expected lines and ended the round with a 78.

The amateurs in the fray did not perform up to expectation. While Diksha Dagar and Trisha Sunil returned with a card of four-over 76 to finish tied 10th.

Shweta Galande, Millie Saroha and Suchitra Ramesh ended the day at tied at the 15th position. Astha Madan and Raksha Phadke are 17th and 18th prespectively.

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