05 June 2019: It is a heady mix at the top as the women contend for the biggest ever purse on the WGAI’s Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. Gursimar Badwal, Gaurika Bishnoi and Amandeep Drall produced a flawless effort on the back nine to secure a share of the lead in the seventh leg of the 2019 season. The women are in Hosur for the resumption of the HWPGT after a two and a half month summer break, setting the stage for four events in the South of India.
The tournament broke an Indian record when it became the first event on the WGAI calendar to offer a million Rupees in the collective purse. The field consisting of 26 professionals and three amateurs is also the largest ever for a WGAI event.
The three leaders were the only women to break par on a sultry day in this town bordering Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Much of that was down to consistency on the return stretch where Badwal, Bishnoi and Drall took just 34, 33 and 32 strokes respectively. Amandeep finished with a hat-trick of birdies to force her way into the leading group. That streak helped her negate a double bogey at the fifth and a bogey on the first hole.
In contrast, Gaurika started her day with a birdie at the first hole. Back to back bogeys at 7 & 8 pushed her over par, but she kept it clean through the end, posting birdies at 12 & 14 to keep herself to a 71.
Gursimar had the most eventless round of the leaders, mixing birdies at the second and twelfth with a lone bogey at the 530 yards par-5 third hole. The three women enjoy a one-stroke advantage over Ananya Datar and Neha Tripathi.
Neha was bogey-free for 14 holes before conceding one the 15th in scoring an even 72. The only birdie of her round came at the 545 yards par-5 seventh hole.
Hita Prakash will sit out the rest of the tournament owing to the 16-stroke rule. She shot an 88 in the opening round, which meant that she was more than 16-strokes adrift of the leaders and hence eliminated from the competition.
The three amateurs in the field – Sneha Sharan, Pranavi Urs and Asmitha Sathish – shot 76 each to open their bid to contend for honours. Khushi Khanijau, Millie Saroha, Astha Madan and Ridhima Dilawari are in T6 at one over 73.
Tvesa Malik completed the top ten with a 74 that contained two birdies. There were 44 birdies in all on the first day of the tournament.
The 2019 season has crowned five champions – Ridhima Dilawari, who won twice in three starts, Neha Tripathi, Gaurika Bishnoi, Gursimar and Tvesa Malik. Neha is at the head of the WGAI Order of Merit leading from Gaurika and Gursimar. Amandeep is in fourth place followed by Ridhima and Siddhi Kapoor.
Tee times for Round 2: Hero WPGT Leg 7, Clover Greens:
8:30 AM: Suchitra Ramesh (85), Neeharika Thangamma (82);
8:40 AM: Anousha Tripathi (81), Oviya Reddi (80);
8:50 AM: Tanirika Singh (80), Mehar Atwal (79), Sonam Chugh (79);
9:00 AM: Komal Chaudhary (79), Anisha Padukone (79), Smriti Mehra (78);
9:10 AM: Ayesha Kapur (77), Gauri Karhade (77), Siddhi Kapoor (77);
9:20 AM: Jyotsana Singh (76), Asmitha Sathish (A) (76), Pranavi Urs (A) (76);
9:30 AM: Sneha Sharan (A) (76), Ishvari Prasanna (75), Tvesa Malik (74);
9:40 AM: Ridhima Dilawari (73), Astha Madan (73), Millie Saroha (73);
9:50 AM: Khushi Khanijau (73), Neha Tripathi (72), Ananya Datar (72);
10:00 AM: Amandeep Drall (71), Gaurika Bishnoi (71), Gursimar Badwal (71);