Debutant Vani snatches lead in Hero Women's golf
Bangalore, Aug 23 (IANS) Vani Kapoor marked her professional debut with a stunning four-under 68 that gave her a four-shot lead going into the third and final round of the Rs.10 lakh Hero-KGA Women's Pro Golf Tournament here Thursday.
Vani took her two-round total to 143 while overnight leader Sharmila Nicollet, who had a 76, was at three-over 147 and in second place behind in the first leg of the 2012 season.
Vani, who trains under DLF pro Anitya Chand, admitted to being a bit jittery on the opening day, but was once again her confident self Thursday as she came up with five birdies with just one bogey to move four shots clear of Sharmila.
Veteran Smriti Mehra (71), seven times winner in 15 starts last year, was the only other player to bring home a sub-par round Thursday as she added a 71 to the first day's 77 for a four-over 148, ahead of Nalini Singh Siwach (76) and Neha Tripathi (78) were fourth and fifth at 150 and 151, respectively.
Vani's had very few long putts like the 15-footer on the sixth which was her first birdie. The birdie on ninth came from eight feet, while the birdies on 13th, 15th and 16th were inside six, three and four feet respectively.
Smriti had three birdies against two bogeys. "I played better today. The pins have been somewhat tough, so the scores will not be as low. I was steady today."
Sharmila, who started the day with a double bogey after visiting the water hazard on the left off the first, was four-over within first four holes. Birdies on the fifth, her only birdie on a par-five, and eighth put some confidence back. On the back nine, she had two more bogeys and no birdies.
The next two events will also be held in Bangalore, with the second leg at Clover Greens and the third at Prestige Golfshire, with a purse of Rs.5 lakh each.
The 2012-13 season is scheduled to have 10 events plus two Majors, one at the start of the season and one right at the end. The 10 events will carry a total purse of Rs.70 lakh, an increase of 66 per cent over the last year's purse of Rs.42 lakh.
Leading scores (after two rounds): 143 Vani Kapoor (75-68); 147 Sharmila Nicollet (71-76); 148 Smriti Mehra (77-71); 150 Nalini Singh Siwach (74-76); 151 Neha Tripathi (73-78); 152 Saaniya Sharma (73-79) and Aditi Ashok (A) (74-78); 153 Shraddhanjali Singh (78-75).
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