Golfer Neha eyes encore at Tollygunge 

Kolkata, Feb 9 (IANS) Upbeat after her first victory in more than a year, Neha Tripathi will start as the firm favourite in the fourth leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Tollygunge Golf Club here.

The Rs.6 lakh event, featuring 17 professionals and lone amateur Tvesa Malik, will be played from February 10 to 12.

Neha registered a three shot victory over Shweta Galande last week and would be eager to continue the winning run. She is currently placed sixth in the Order of Merit with total earnings of Rs.1,58,500 and would be keen to see her name move up the list.

Neha, however, will find Smriti Mehra, Kiran Matharu and Sharmila Nicollet standing in her way. Englishwoman Kiran had a less than impressive outing in the last event and would be eager to make amends. She is currently placed second in the Order of Merit with total earnings of Rs.2,65,600 in three appearances and two runner-up finishes.

Kolkata’s Smriti is still searching for her first win this season and has been far from her best. However, she has the experience to turn things around quickly and will be a force to reckon with in the fourth event of the year. She is currently placed seventh in the money list with Rs.1,53,300.

Bengaluru’s Sharmila played in her first event last week, finishing fifth at Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC). She will look to better her performance and will push hard for her maiden win this season.

Chandigarh’s Saaniya Sharma and Pune’s Shweta Galande are others to watch out for. Shweta is currently ninth in the standings with Rs.1,25,000 while Saaniya is third with Rs.2,19,000. Both had strong finishes last week with second and third positions respectively and will try to put an end to their barren run this season.

Other players in the fray will be Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal, Jaipur’s Pallavi Jain and the Delhi duo of Ankita Tiwana and Mehar Atwal.

The Tollygunge Club is one of the oldest golf courses in India and the picturesque par 70 course is all set for the first round which gets under way on Wednesday.

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