More open race on the cards

Golf Womens Pro Tour II leg

With two-time Order of Merit winner Sharmila Nicollet and veteran Smriti Mehra yet to find the their groove, Aditi and Neha -- who shared the spotlight in the opening leg at the Karnataka Golf Association last week -- will be the cynosure at the par-72 Eagleton Golf Resort.

Local amateur Aditi, who seemed on course to victory with the two holes to play, suffered a monumental late collapse before going down in the fifth play-off hole to rising Kolkata girl Neha. The narrow loss notwithstanding, the 13-year-old can still take confidence from her impressive outing in her maiden appearance at a pro event, and will use this event to make another statement of her brilliant talent.

Neha, who made her pro debut last season and finished fourth in the rankings with one title, looked solid in all departments of the game in the opening leg. Driving and putting well, the 19-year-old Fort William Army Golf Club thrived under pressure too, bouncing back from a poor second-round display to nail her second pro title.

“I am feeling good and there will be no pressure on me despite winning the opening leg,” said Neha. “I will just try and play my normal game. The course looks fine and I am hoping to do an encore.”

Sharmila, without a coach and clearly struggling with her putting, needs to tighten her game around the greens if she desires to walk the distance. While she got away without breaking sweat last year, the improvement made by the others is already stretching her.

The course will be far less challenging than the KGA with its wider fairways, but the slower greens won’t be easy to counter.

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