Golfer Vani grabs early lead in Noida

Noida, Nov 18 (IANS) Delhi youngster Vani Kapoor played a cautious round, carding a level par score to grab the early lead on Day 1 of the Rs.5 lakh 17th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Noida Golf Course here on Wednesday.

Trailing her in second position by a margin of three strokes is Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal.

Vani started the pursuit of her fifth title of the season cautiously, playing a bogey-free front nine. The Order of Merit leader, however, grew in confidence and carded her first birdie on the 10th hole.

She dropped a shot on the 13th but followed it up with a birdie on the 15th. She could have ended the day with an under-par score but for a bogey on the 16th.

Gursimar returned with a score of 3 over 75 to finish second. She started her campaign with an error-prone front nine, dropping three shots on the first, sixth and ninth holes along with a double bogey on the seventh.

Her only birdie in the front-nine came on the eighth. She carded one more bogey on the 16th but two consecutive birdies on the 17th and 18th were enough for her to take second position. Her tally of three birdies was the maximum for the day, shared with amateur Tavleen Batra.

Pune’s Shweta Galande, Delhi’s Gauri Monga and the Kolkata duo of Neha Tripathi and Smriti Mehra carded identical scores of 5 over 77 to end tied third.

Shweta’s round consisted of a lone birdie on the eighth against four bogeys on the fifth, seventh, 12th and 17th, along with a double on the 15th.

Gauri played a birdie-less round with five bogeys on the first, second, fifth, eighth and 17th. Neha played an unimpressive front nine with three double bogeys on the third, fourth and seventh along with a bogey on the sixth. She made a remarkable recovery in her bogey-free back nine, with two birdies on the 14th and 18th.

Smriti started off well, carding two consecutive birdies on the first and second holes. However, she could not sustain the momentum and a flurry of bogeys on the eighth, ninth, 12th, 13th and 15th along with a double on the 11th spoilt her scorecard.

Punchkula’s Amandeep Drall and amateur Tavleen Batra returned with identical scores of 6 over 78 to be placed tied seventh on the leaderboard. Amandeep’s round consisted of five bogeys, one double and a lone birdie. Tavleen fired three birdies, along with four bogeys, one double and also a triple bogey.

Delhi girls Ankita Tiwana and Ayesha Kapur were placed ninth and 10th with scores of 7 over 79 and 8 over 80 respectively.

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