Milind leads IGU trials for World Amateurs; Avani trails Smriti among women

In-form Milind Soni got off to a flying start in the Indian Golf Union trials for the World Amateur Championships.

The 17-year-old Telengana golfer Milind, who wore India colours at the Asia-Pacific Amateurs last year in Dubai, shot a superb 5-under 65 that included a late eagle and took a five-shot lead after the first round at the superb looking Hyderabad Golf Association golf course.

A total of 14 amateurs in men’s section and nine in women’s section teed off in the trials.

Milind, winner of the IGA Assam Amateurs in April and then the IGU AP Amateurs in May, is now looking at making a place in the Indian squad for the World Amateur Team Championship in France.

Among the girls, Smriti Bhargava edge ahead of the fancied Avani Prashanth and held the lead. Smriti shot 2-opver 72 while Avani carded 73. Saanvi Somu scored 74 and Sneha Singh, who alongside Avani went to the recent Queen Sirikit Cup, scored 75 and was fourth.

Milind started superbly and had four birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, while the back nine started with five pars. Then he birdied 15th and had an eagle on 17th while dropping shots on 16 and 18th for one-under back nine and a total of 5-under 65.

Chugh had five birdies against three bogeys in a round of 68, while Pranav had four birdies against three bogeys in his 69.

Raghav Chugh (68) was lying second, and Pranav Mardikar (69) was third, while Shaurya Bhattacharya and Yuvraj Singh were tied fourth with cards of 70 each. Krishnav Nikhil Chopraa and Tushar Pannu with rounds of 72 each were tied sixth.

Two-time All India amateur champion, Aryan Roopa Anand and Akshay Neranjen alongwith Shat Mishra were tied eighth with 73 each.

The 2022 World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) for 2022 will be held near Paris in France. The 29th edition of WATC for women for the Espirito Santo Trophy will be held from August 24 to 27 and the 32nd men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy from August 31 to September 3, 2022.

The Le Golf National (Albatross Course) and the Golf de Saint-Nom-La Breteche (Red Course) will be used for the events.

This will mark the third time the championships have been played in France.

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