16 October 2018: We have three Indian golfers are at the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida. Sharmila Nicollet got off to a good start in the LPGA Qualifying tournament, shooting 2-under 70 on Monday. Nikita Arjun and Neha Tripathi had trouble dealing with their respective courses as they signed on an 80 & 81 respectively to start to their campaign.
Hoffman began on the 10th hole and a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th set her up for a good round. She suffered a bogey at the 16th, but added five more birdies on the second nine to come home with a splendid 65.
“We kept it loose, laughing on the course and then focused over each shot when we needed to,” Hoffman said of her interaction with caddie Michelle Simpson. “We didn’t talk about golf in between shots and it helped me relax. It’s awesome to get off to a good start, but we can’t get complacent. We are going to stick to the gameplan and keep focusing over every shot, giving it our best and hope the putts keep dropping.”
Sharmila began with a birdie on the first hole of the Bobcat course and never really looked back from there. The Bengaluru golfer added another birdie at the fifth hole to get to two under.
After the turn, Sharmila moved to three under with a third birdie at the par-5 13th hole, but conceded the stroke back immediately. She made her lone bogey of the day at the 14th hole.
Neha was playing the Panther course. She corrected a bogey at the 3rd hole with a birdie at the fifth, but that was to be her only consolation on a difficult day. It went downhill from there as she kept bleeding strokes regularly.
The Delhi golfer added seven more bogeys and a double bogey at the par-4 12th hole. Neha made an 81 in the first round and with only the top 25 and ties progressing to the Q Series final, will have plenty of work to go through the remaining days of Stage II.
Nikita made a couple of double bogeys on the Bobcat course – at the fourth and tenth holes. She also conceded four other bogeys in an 80.
Players alternate between the Panther and Bobcat courses this week.