Afshan Fatima showed a welcome return to form with the day’s only under par score of 2-under 70, to take a two-shot lead over many of the star players in the first round of the 14th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Panchkula Golf Club.
Afshan, who was twice runner-up in 2019 and once before that in 2018 and has not won since the 13th Leg of the 2018 season, was on top of the leader board after a very long time. Afshan, the 26-year-old from Jaipur, had a bogey on the second hole itself but fought back with three birdies on third, seventh and ninth and another one on 11th to go 3-under for the day. She dropped a shot late on the 17th and finished at 2-under 70.
Gaurika Bishnoi, who won the weather-hit 13th Leg and then had a creditable Top-10 finish at the Women’s Indian Open on the Ladies European Tour, overcame a bogey-bogey start with a string of pars till the 12th hole. She birdied the 13th and then closed with another birdie on 18th to ensure she finished at even par 72.
As many as six players finished at 1-over 73. Shweta Mansingh suffered a crippling triple bogey on Par-5 15th after a bogey start. She also had three birdies. Ridhima Dilawari bogeyed 14th, 15th and 17th after being 1-under till then. She finished 1-over.
Seher Atwal had just one birdie on the eighth and two bogeys on the back nine, while Saaniya Sharma was hit by three bogeys in a row from sixth to eighth as she had four other birdies, three of them in the last five holes. Overall she had four birdies against five bogeys.
Khushi Khanijau had two birdies against one bogey and one double, while amateur Vidhatri Urs had two birdies against three bogeys.
Three players Neha Tripathi, Agrima Manral and Asmitha Sathish shot 2-over 74 each.
The disappointment of the day was Sneha Singh, who carded a disappointing 6-over 78 while another pre-tournament favourite Hitaashee Bakshi carded 4-over 76.