Amateurs in spotlight as Avani leads in WPGT event

Amateurs Avani Prashanth, Vidhatri Urs, and Sneha Singh basked in the spotlight as they occupied three of the top six places at the end of the first round of the eighth leg of the Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Golden Greens Golf Club here.

While Avani won the third leg of the ongoing season in Mumbai, Sneha had won the 11th leg in 2019 in Hyderabad.

In the opening round of the eighth leg, Avani shot 1-under 71 to take a one-shot lead over Saaniya Sharma (72). Four players, including amateurs Vidhatri and Sneha, besides last ‘eek’s winner Jahanvi Bakshi and Afshan Fatima were Tied-3rd with rounds of 73 each.

Three players, Seher Atwal, Lakhmehar Pardesi, and Siddhi Kapoor shot 74 each, three others including amateurs Khushi Hooda and Nishna and pro Rhea Saravanan carded 75 each.

Avani with back-to-back birdies on Par-3 fourth and Par-5 fifth went 2-under and was placed as such till she came to the 14th. She hit a roadblock and double-bogeyed the hole. Despite that she fought back with birdies on 15th and 17th with a bogey in between on 16th to be the only player to finish under par. Saaniya Sharma had three each of birdies and bogeys for her 72 and was lying second.

Amateur Vidhatri had a steady front nine with one birdie and no bogeys and turned in 1-under. On the back nine, she had two birdies, three pars, and four bogeys to finish the day on 73.

Amateur Sneha Singh landed the only eagle of the day when she holed her third shot on Par-5 fifth. She had two more birdies on the back nine. She also had three bogeys and a double-bogey on Par-4 14th for her 73.

Jahanvi Bakshi, playing three groups behind Avani, had two birdies and a bogey in the first 16 holes. She seemed to be in a position to get a share of the lead with Avani who had finished earlier. However, Jahanvi double-bogeyed late in the day on Par-4 17th and carded 73.