HWPGT: Vani grabs lead on day 1 at Noida

Vani Kapoor Hero Womens Professional Golf Tour Leg 2015Noida: Delhi youngster Vani Kapoor played a cautious round of golf, carding a level par score to grab the early lead on day one of the 17th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2015 at the Noida Golf Course here on Wednesday. Trailing her in second position by a margin of three strokes is Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal . The INR 5,00,000 event will culminate on 20th November 2015.

Vani Kapoor started the pursuit of her fifth title of the season cautiously, playing a bogey-free front nine. The Hero Order of Merit leader however, grew in confidence as the day progressed 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 hole.

Gursimar Badwal returned with a score of 3 over 75 to finish the day in second position. Gursimar started her campaign with an error-prone front nine, dropping three shots on the 1st, 6th and 9th holes, along with a double bogey on the 7th. Her only birdie in the front-nine came on the 8th hole. She carded one more bogey on the 16th hole, but two consecutive birdies on the 17th and 18th holes were enough for her to take the second position in the opening round. 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 hole against four bogies on the 5th, 7th, 12th and 17th, along with a double on the 15th. Gauri Monga played a birdie-less round with five bogies on the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 17th holes. Neha played an unimpressive front nine with three double bogies on the 3rd, 4th and 7th, along with a bogey on the 6th. She made a remarkable recovery in her bogey-free back nine, with two birdies on the 14th and 18th holes. Smriti Mehra started off well carding two consecutive birdies on the 1st and 2nd holes. However, she could not sustain the momentum and a flurry of bogies on the 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th and 15th holes, 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 bogies, one double and a lone birdie. Tavleen fired three birdies, along with four bogies, 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.

The Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2015 comprises a total of 18 legs spanning across key locations in India.

Samikshan Dutta Choudhury