Bengaluru's Sharmila Nicollet played a level-par round to grab the early lead in the 16th leg of the Women's Professional Golf Tour at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) on Wednesday. (Sharmila Nicollet Eyes Encore at Delhi Golf Tournament)
In second place, adrift by one stroke, was Smriti Mehra at 1 over 73. (Sharmila Nicollet Wins First Title of the Year)
Sharmila started cautiously, carding two birdies on the eighth and ninth holes while dropping a shot on the fourth. She dropped three more shots on the 11th, 16th and 18th in her back nine but an eagle on the 14th was enough for her to secure a one stroke advantage over Smriti. This was Sharmila's first eagle of the season.
Kolkata's Smriti Mehra had a shaky start and carded a bogey on the first and added another on the fourth in her front nine. A lone birdie on the sixth helped her gain some control. Her back nine was a mixed bag as she carded two birdies on the 12th and 14th along with an equal number of bogeys on the 13th and 16th.
Local player Gauri Monga and amateur Tvesa Malik were tied at third with identical totals of 2 over 74 after the first day. Gauri played a birdie-less front nine with bogeys on the second and eighth. She played with much more aggression in her back nine, carding three birdies on the 11th, 14th and 18th while dropping a shot on the 17th. She also carded a double on the 16th.
Tvesa carded four birdies on the second, third, ninth and 12th along with three bogeys on the sixth, 10th and 17th. She could have finished much higher but a triple bogey on the 15th meant that she had to be content with tied third.
Panchkula's Amandeep Drall, Kapurthala's Gursimar Badwal and amateur Diksha Dagar returned with identical scores of 5 over 77 to end tied fifth.
Amandeep's card included four birdies on the fifth, seventh, ninth and 13th along with bogeys on the second and 15th. She also carded two double bogeys on the 10th and 14th along with a triple on the third.
Gursimar carded three birdies on the second, ninth and 14th while dropping shots on the sixth, seventh, 15th and 18th. Her card also included two double bogeys on the first and 11th.
Diksha carded birdies on the first and 18th along with bogeys on the fourth and ninth. She also had a double and a triple bogey on the third and 15th.
Delhi's Ankita Tiwana played a birdie-less round of 6 over 78 to take eighth. Amateur Tavleen Batra finished ninth with 7 over 79 followed by Vani Kapoor, Saaniya Sharma, Pallavi Jain and Nikki Ponappa at tied 10th with identical totals of 8 over 80.