Aditi shares lead with European duo, Sharmila and Nalini 25th

STEFANIA CROCE.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Even as amateur Aditi Ashok stole the limelight by sharing the lead with Welsh golfer Becky Brewerton and Italian Stefania Croce, two other Indian professionals carded one-over 73 each to be tied 25th after the first round which was a mixed bag for the Indian contingent.

Aditi, Brewerton and Croce carded three-under 69 each and were one shot ahead of six others who were at 70. Laura Davies (71) was among the six players at 71 in tied 10th place. Two-time champion Phatlum Pornanong (72) was tied 16th while defending champion Caroline Hedwall (74) was tied 47th.

Vani Kapoor (75) was tied 39th, while amateurs Gurbani Singh, Millie Saroha and Raksha Phadke carded 76 each to be tied 47th. But veteran Smriti Mehra was way behind after carding 10-over 82.

Nalini Siwach played a very steady 73 with one birdie and two bogeys. “I played quite solid, but missed a lot of putts. I did get within 10 feet of the flag many times but the putts were always tricky ones. Still a decent round with one birdie and two bogeys, though it would have been nice to hole a couple more,” said the 23-year-old.

“The wind was not a factor, as it was either headwind or tailwind, and never really cross. I started with a bogey, but quickly got back with the birdie on 12th. Then it was steady pars before that bogey on third. I am looking forward to tomorrow (second round),” added Nalini.

Sharmila Nicollet said, “It was a rather disappointing finish as I three-putted twice towards the end, on the 15th and 16th. Then I pulled the drive on the 18th, which is really an easy hole, where one can look for a birdie, but I ended with a par.”

The tall and strikingly good-looking pro added, “I had a very stable front nine. I was hitting the ball well and solid. The eagle on par-5 sixth was nice. I hit a good drive and followed that up with a 5-Wood to within 10 feet and holed it nicely. Immediately I birdied the seventh and there was momentum.”

She rued the fact that she did not play well on the holes which are easy on the course. “I think I did not score well on many of the easy holes. I bogeyed the 10th and then missed a few putts and finished a bit disappointingly.”

Smriti Mehra, the seniormost member of the Indian women’s pro golf Tour, started and ended the day with birdies, but in between she struggled with six bogeys, one double and two triple bogeys to virtually end her campaign at 10-over 82 for the first round. She was tied 94th.

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