Astha surges ahead

Astha surges ahead

Astha Madan upstaged her much fancied rivals despite going through a turbulent ride in the opening round of the Usha-IGU Southern India Ladies and Junior Girls Golf Championship here on Monday.

On a wind-swept day at the Karnataka Golf Association where most of the players struggled to come to terms with the tricky greens, the 17-year-old teenager from Gurgaon shot a level-par 72 to open up a one-shot lead.

Amrita Anand and Gauri Monga are tied for second while the troika of Tvesa Malik, Gursimar Badwal and Raksha Phadke are bunched together at 74. Favourite Gurbani Singh, who emerged champion in the two events held so far this season, started with a disappointing 75 while local hope and strong title contender Aditi Ashok stumbled to a 76.

Astha’s round was of two parts. While the 17-year-old dotted her opening nine with birdies, she went kaput on the inward journey that ruined her card. A 10th tee starter, Astha launched herself with a hat-trick of birdies -- 10th, 11th, 12th. She nearly holed a fourth only to see the ball lip out on the 13th.

She picked up her fourth shot of the day on the 15th before dropping her first bogey on the 18th hole when things began to go awry for the teenager. A hat-trick of bogeys from the fifth hole cut short her lead drastically.

Leading scores (after 18 holes): Ladies: 72: Astha Madan; 73: Amrita Anand, Gauri Monga; 74: Tvesa Malik, Gursimar Badwal, Raksha Phadke; 75: Gaurika Bishnoi, Vidusha Sinha, Gurbani Singh; 76: Aditi Ashok.

Category A: 72: Astha Madan; 74: Tvesa Malik; 75: Gaurika Bishnoi, Vidusha Sinha, Gurbani Singh; 76: Aditi Ashok; 77: Trisha Sunil, Ridhima Dilawari, Vrishali Sinha, Millie Saroha.

Category B: 73: Amrita Anand; 80: Sachika Singh; 81: Suchitra Ramesh.
Category C: 83: Sifat Sagoo; 87: Sahana Paravantavida; 88: Esha Sharma.

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