Monday, June 17, 2024

Golf: Amateur Avani Prashanth lies second in Germany, Dagar 10th

Indian amateur Avani Prashanth fired a major warning shot with an albatross in a round of 7-under 65 that placed her second after the first round at the Amundi German Masters.

Playing on a sponsor’s exemption for the second year in a row, Avani had an albatross, her first in a tournament and second in her life on Thursday. Avani, whose first albatross came as an eight-year-old in a practice round in Bangalore in 2015, had six birdies, an albatross against two bogeys.

The leader was England’s Olivia Mehaffey who fired a great round of 64 to hold a one-stroke lead.

Among the other Indians, Diksha Dagar (69), who has been playing well in recent weeks, was tied for sixth. She had five birdies against two bogeys

When the round ended, Vani Kapoor (73) was T-45th, Ridhima Dilawari (75) was T-70 and Amandeep Drall (77) was Tied- 105th.

Mehaffey, the Northern Irish player, began her round on the back nine at Golf & Country Club Seddiner See and started with a birdie on the 10th before rolling in four on the trot from hole 13 through to 16.

Mehaffey dropped shots on 17 and 18 but soon bounced back with birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth holes to sit at the top of the leaderboard on eight-under-par.

Mehaffey took a break from life on Tour halfway through last season after needing to work on her mental health and heal following the death of her father Philip in December 2021.

She returned to competitive golf at the beginning of the 2023 season and has been seeing improvement in her game in recent weeks as she added a new driver to the bag last week.

The 16-year-old amateur Avani made a bogey on the fifth but then soon found her groove with birdies on the sixth, eighth, and ninth holes.

An albatross sandwiched between two birdies sent the teenager flying up the leaderboard and she ended with a birdie on 17 and bogey on 18 for her round of seven-under.

‘I started off alright,’ Avani Prashanth was quoted as saying in a release on Friday. ‘It was a bit of a rocky start with a bogey, but I really kept calm and then I made my birdies and finished the front nine at two-under.

‘I then had another birdie and a really unexpected albatross which was the highlight of the round. I had to keep it together with all the adrenaline flowing, I made another birdie and a birdie on 17. I ended with a bogey but I’m grateful for how the day went and looking forward to tomorrow.’

She holed out from 197 yards with a 5-Iron for the albatross on Par-5 13th hole. She was birdie-albatross-birdie from 12th to 14th.

Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson and England’s Meghan MacLaren sit in a tie for third place on six-under-par after they both only dropped one shot during their rounds of 66.

Four players are in a share of fifth place after the first round with Czechia’s Kristyna Napoleaova, England’s Cara Gainer, Italy’s Virginia Elena Carta and France’s Celine Herbin all on four-under-par.

There are six players at tied 10th, one shot further back with Swiss duo Kim Metraux and Tiffany Arafi, England’s Hayley Davis, India’s Diksha Dagar, Austria’s Sarah Schober and Italy’s Clara Manzalini all on three-under-par.

There will be a cut to the top 60 professionals and ties after 36 holes.

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