07 February, 2018: A three-shot swing on the closing 18th hole handed Neha Tripathi a two-shot lead over nearest rival Saaniya Sharma in the first round of the third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. Neha Tripathi gains a two stroke lead over Saaniya with a birdie at the final hole.
Neha was the only player to birdie the challenging 18th hole and it gave her a card of one-under 70, which included three birdies and two bogeys. Saaniya (72) seemed all set for the lead before finishing with a disappointing double bogey.
Saaniya was sole second while Gursimar Badwal (73), who has been Tied-3rd in the two previous legs, was again lying Tied-3rd alongside Trisha Sunil. Tvesa Malik and Ayesha Kapur were Tied-5th with 74 each.
Neha, who had three wins in the 2017 Hero WPGT season, started off well with a series of pars and two birdies on the front nine. Her birdies on par-3 fourth and par-5 seventh saw her turn in two-under. The bogeys came on 11th and 17th at which point she was even par for the day.
Playing alongside Neha was Saaniya with four birdies against three bogeys. Saaniya was one-under when she came to the 18th tee.
Neha birdied the final hole but Saaniya double bogeyed it leading to a three-shot swing. That resulted in Neha finishing at one-under 70 and Saaniya was at 72.
Gursimar Badwal, even par at the turn with one bogey and one birdie, had an eventful four holes at the start of the back nine. Gursimar bogeyed 10th, 11th and 13th and had a birdie in between on 12th before finishing with five straight pars for a round of 73.
Trisha Sunil was flawless on the front nine and like Neha, she was two-under at the turn. She, however, stumbled on the back nine, as she double bogeyed the par-5 12th and dropped two more shots on the par-3 13th and par-4 17th.
Sonam Chugh (76) and Mehar Atwal (77) were seventh and eighth, while Afshan Fatima and Siddhi Kapoor were Tied-ninth at 78 each. Smriti Mehra (79) was 11th with Millie Saroha (80) 12th.
Tavleen Batra, Khushi Khanijau and Hita Prakash will start off in the first group followed by Millie, Smriti and Siddhi. The third group will comprise Afshan, Mehar and Sonam, while the fourth group will see Ayesha, Tvesa and Trisha play together.
Gursimar, Saaniya and Neha will head out together in the final group in second round.