Kolkata, Feb 3 (IANS) Gursimar Badwal carded 3 over 75 in difficult conditions to grab the lead on Day 1 of the Rs.6 lakh third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here on Wednesday. Trailing by a single stroke in the second position is Sharmila Nicollet.

Gursimar struggled with the conditions in the first half and carded two consecutive bogeys on the second and third holes along with a double on the fifth. She carded her lone birdie of the day on the fourth. However, the professional from Kapurthala played with much more control in the latter half with a bogey-free back nine to finish with a score of 3 over 75 and take the top position.

Sharmila, who is playing in her first tournament this year, carded 4 over 76 to take second. She too had a shaky start and dropped five shots on the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth with a lone birdie on the fourth in her front nine. The Bengaluru-girl made no further errors and a bogey-free back nine was enough to secure the second spot.

Kolkata’s Smriti Mehra and Pune’s Shweta Galande are tied third with identical totals of 5 over 77 after 18 holes. Smriti played a birdie-less front-nine with five bogeys on the second, third, fifth, seventh and ninth. She dropped three more shots in the latter half on the 15th, 16th and 17th.

However, birdies on the 12th, 13th and 18th helped her to repair the damage and she finished two shots adrift of the leader. Shweta played a birdie-less round with bogeys on the first, second, sixth, seventh and 16th.

Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi is fifth after the first round. She too played a birdie-less round with six bogeys on the second, third, 11th, 14th, 15th and 18th. Delhi’s Ankita Tiwana and Jaipur’s Afshan Fatima are tied sixth with identical totals of 7 over 79 followed by Amateur Tvesa Malik and Nikki Ponappa at tied eighth with 8 over 80.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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