July 5, 2017: Gaurika Bishnoi, the most consistent performers this season opened with a strong even par 72 that gave her a one-shot lead in the opening round of the seventh leg of the Hero WPGT 2017. Gaurika, who has already won once and finished in Top-4 on four other occasions in a total of six starts, led amateur Ankita Kedlaya by one shot.
It gives Gaurika a chance to narrow the gap between her and the Hero Order of Merit leader, Amandeep Drall, who is missing the event as she plays the event in Thailand, alongside Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi.
The 18-year-old from Rohtak, who turned pro late last year, and won her first professional title this season in the third leg, started with a flourish as she had three birdies against one single bogey in her first six holes. She turned in two-under 34, but then dropped shots on par-3 12th and par-4 18th to finish at 72.
Ankita had three birdies on the back nine, but her front nine including a stunning eagle-2 on the par-4 ninth. Pranavi opened and closed the day with birdies in her 74.
Three other stars players, Sharmila Nicollet, Smriti Mehra and Gursimar Badwal were all tied-seventh with rounds of 76 each. Rhea Sarvanan, one of the five amateurs in the field was 10t with 77 and Mehar Atwal (78) was 11th.
This is the seventh leg of the Tour, which took a three-month break during summer after six legs between January and March.
Gaurika, who played with Pranavi Urs in the first round will have her as a playing partner once again and Ankita will join them in the three-ball in the last group on Thursday.