Mumbai, Feb 23 (IANS) Smriti Mehra fired a sizzling 3 under 67 to grab pole position after the first round of the Rs.6 lakh fifth leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club here on Tuesday. Three shots adrift, in second position at level par was Gursimar Badwal.

Smriti had a shaky start and carded a bogey on the very first hole. Thereafter, the professional from Kolkata regained her composure, carding two birdies on the third and eighth. She added three more birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th which were neutralised by a bogey on the 11th and a double on the 15th. However, an eagle on the 18th helped her secure a three-shot lead over Gursimar.

Kapurthala’s Gursimar played a cautious round, carding two birdies on the eighth and 18th with an equal number of bogeys on the fifth and 11th to take second position with a score of even par 70.

She is followed by Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi in third. Neha started impressively, playing a bogey-free front nine with birdies on the first and fifth. She added another birdie on the 12th but two double bogeys on the 11th and 16th marred her scoreline and she had to be content with a score of 1 over 71.

Kiran Matharu, Sharmila Nicollet and Gauri Monga are all tied fourth with identical scores of 2 over 72. Sharmila started her campaign with aplomb, firing an eagle on the third hole, followed by a birdie on the fifth. However, the Bengaluru golfer could not sustain the momentum and dropped four shots on the seventh, eighth, ninth and 18th along with a double on the 10th. She added one more birdie to her tally on the 16th.

Kiran’s eventful round included an eagle on the 16th along with three birdies on the sixth, seventh and 12th. She also carded five bogeys on the ninth, 10th, 14th, 17th and 18th along with a double on the 15th. Delhi’s Gauri carded three birdies on the sixth, ninth and 12th while dropping shots on the fourth, seventh, 10th, 15th and 17th.

The Delhi trio of Ankita Tiwana, Mehar Atwal and Mehak Sharma are tied seventh at 3 over 73 followed by Pune’s Shweta Galande in 10th with 4 over 74.

    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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