Anisha, Raksha soar to the top

Anisha, Raksha soar to the top

Anisha, Raksha soar to the top

Amateurs Anisha Padukone and Raksha Phadke upstaged the pros to share the lead after the second round of the Hero-KGA Women’s Pro Golf Championship at the KGA on Thursday.

On a largely overcast morning in conditions ideal for golfing, the duo shot contrasting one-under 71s to total 144 and take a two-shot lead into the final round.

Order of Merit leader Vani Kapoor (72) and LET player Sharmila Nicollet (73) were in joint third at 146 along with another amateur Nikita Arjun while overnight leader Shweta Galande tumbled to sixth place (147) after carding a disastrous 76.

Pune’s Raksha, who won the Southern India Ladies and Junior Golf Championship at the same venue last month, looked in fine touch from the start. She birdied the opening hole, bogeyed the third, picked up shots on the sixth and ninth before dropping one on the 16th to give herself a decent chance of winning a second title in as many months.  A regular on the amateur but still searching for a breakthrough win, local lass Anisha wavered from the ordinary to the brilliant in a topsy-turvy round.

She struck a hat-trick of birdies from the fourth hole before collecting a double bogey on the par-3 eighth. She then carded two birdies (10th, 14th) and two bogeys (11th, 15th) to end the round as joint leader.

Leading scores (after 36 holes, ‘A’ denotes amateur): 144: Raksha Phadke (A, 73 71), Anisha Padukone (A, 73, 71); 146: Vani Kapoor (74, 72), Sharmila Nicollet (73, 73), Nikita Arjun (A, 73, 73); 147: Shweta Galande (71, 76); 150: Ankita Tiwana (74, 76).

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