Report by Anand Datla
September 10, 2014: The women are in Tamil Nadu, strutting their golfing stuff at Clover Greens for the tenth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2014. Smriti Mehra and Neha Tripathi took centrestage with an even par 70 to end the first round in the driving seat. Gauri Monga and Ankita Tiwana are three behind the leaders, having made 73 on a warm day around the area that stretches between the borders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Smriti produced two birdies in the first four holes to surge into the lead, but she was reigned in by a pair of bogeys that came at the fifth and the ninth. Sandwiched between the bogeys was a brilliant eagle too, at the 545 yard par-5 seventh hole. But she failed to capitalise on the momentum though as she started and ended the back nine with bogeys to settle for an even par effort on the first day of the event.
Neha shot three bogeys and an even number of birdies to make the turn in 36. The back nine wasn’t too different either, with the golfer surrendering the advantage gained from a birdie at the 13th with a bogey on the very next hole. Gauri Monga, an amateur produced a creditable 73 to match the effort of Ankita and settle into a tie for third behind the two leaders.
Gauri had three bogeys to account for her score, while Ankita made four bogeys and a lone birdie to settle for a 73. Vani Kapoor, who soared to a brilliant 3rd at the Mineks & Regnum Ladies Classic in Turkey last week, failed to reproduce the magic as she signed off with a disappointing 75 in the first round.
Shweta Galande made four bogies, a double and a birdie to account for her 75 was tied in 5th with Vani. The latter made six bogeys and a birdie to account for her 75. Anisha Padukone slipped off the mat, after needing 91 shots to get through her 18 holes. She will play no further part in the tournament.