Saaniya Sharma and Tvesa Malik
Saaniya Sharma and Tvesa Malik

Golf: Saaniya Sharma sole first round leader in 5th leg of Hero WPGT

Gurugram, March 10, 2021

Saaniya Sharma carded the day's best round of 2-under 70 and emerged sole leader after the first round of the fifth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour (WPGT) at the DLF Golf & Country Club here on Wednesday.

Saaniya, whose best finish this season has been T-12, fired five birdies against three bogeys for her best round of the year and she led by one shot over the trio of experienced Tvesa Malik and the Bakshi sisters, Hitaashee and Jahanvi. They returned identical 1-under 71 each at the challenging Gary Player layout.

Tvesa, playing with Saaniya in the first group this morning, had two birdies against one sole bogey on the par-5 15th.

“It was disappointing that I could not take my chances,” said Tvesa, who plans to keep playing on the domestic Tour before taking off for Europe in the summer.

Top amateur Avani Prashanth may well have been a joint leader but for the double bogey on the Par-5 18th. She was sole fifth at 72, while Vani Kapoor, playing at her home course, carded 74 and was sixth.

Saaniya, a qualified referee and a coach to boot, has been playing patchy golf this season and was therefore happy to get a card under par.

“I have worked hard last few weeks, so it is good to see the scores coming in,” she said. "The key will now be to maintain consistency over the next two rounds."

Jahanvi Bakshi was doing well at 5-under through 12 holes before she hit a triple bogey on Par-4 13th hole. She also dropped a bogey on Par-5 15th, but parred the others to recover some ground with 71.

Hitaashee Bakshi, who had her maiden win last year, was 2-under through the front nine with three birdies and a bogey. She then parred eight holes in succession. A par would have given her a share of the lead, but she dropped a shot on 18th to fall back to 71.

Three players -- Gauri Karhade, Shweta Mansingh and Lakhmehar Pardesi -- were Tied-7th with 76 and three others -- Neha Tripathi, Oviya Reddi and amateur Riya Yadav -- shot 77 each to be Tied-10th.

Ridhima Dilawari hurt her left arm and pulled out after shooting 81, while another favourite Diksha Dagar, bothered by her back, had dismal 87.

Amandeep Drall continued to struggle as she shot 79, which included a quintuple bogey nine on Par-4 13th hole.


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