Vani storms into sole lead

Vani storms into sole lead

Nalini, Aditi in tied second spot after round one

Vani storms into sole lead

 Delhi’s Vani Kapoor outsmarted her much fancied rivals to storm into sole lead in the opening round of the Hero-WGAI Women’s Pro Golf Tour’s third leg event here on Tuesday.

Vani, who nearly grabbed a title on her pro debut in the opening leg two weeks ago before losing in a play-off to Sharmila Nicollet, gave another indication of her fine talent with a brilliant one-under 71 at the Prestige Golfshire.

Nalini Singh Siwach was tied for the second place along with local amateur Aditi Ashok three shots behind while title favourite Smriti Mehra courted disaster after disaster for a hugely disappointing 76.

Despite playing at a course that was playing host to a pro tournament for just the second time, Vani hardly appeared troubled unlike the rest of the field who found it difficult to get a measure of. Playing solidly right through the day, the 18-year-old, who shot the only sub-par round of the day, could have signed off with a much bigger lead had it not been for a few missed putts. After a sedate start, Vani picked her shot of the day on the par-5 5th before going two-under with a birdie on the 11th. Her lone blemish came on the 13th where she bogeyed.

In contrast, Smriti looked completely out of sorts. Following a promising start with a birdie on the third hole, things just went from bad to worse for the 40-year-old. She collected double bogeys on the fourth and seventh holes, dropped a shot each on the seventh, 11th and closing 18th with birdies on the 12th and 17th holes reducing the extent of the damage.

Leading scores (after 18 holes, ‘A’ denotes amateur): 71: Vani Kapoor; 74: Nalini Singh Siwach, Aditi Ashok (A); 75: Shraddhanjali Singh; 76: Smirit Mehra, Saaniya Sharma; 77: Neha Tripathi; 80: Rani Sonti, Nikita Arjun (A).