Neha, Ankita hit the front with 72s

Neha, Ankita hit the front with 72s

Neha Tripathi and Ankita Tiwana opened the ninth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour in promising fashion, shooting to a share of the lead here on Wednesday.

The duo, who endured a disappointing outing in the eighth leg last week, returned with cards of level-par 72 at a wind-swept Eagleton Golf Resort.

Amateur Mehar Atwal trails the leaders by two shots while Shweta Galande and Gursimar Badwal are bunched together at tied fourth after scoring 75s. Title favourite Vani Kapoor, however, made a dismal start, carding a disastrous 77.

Defending champion Neha, who posted four wins last season but is still searching for her first victory since her triumph here last year, started her title defence with a bogey on the very first hole. 

But she negated it quickly, birdieing the very next hole before dropping a shot on the fourth. She was back to level-par following a birdie on the sixth, bogeyed the 14th and then redeemed herself with a birdie on the 16th.

Ankita, on the contrary, made a poor start before coming into the thick of things on the back nine. Following a bogey start, Ankita dropped her second shot on the 10th, nailed her first birdie on the 14th and then bogeyed for the third time on the 15th.

 She, however, blasted birdies on the 17th and 18th to sign off as the joint leader.Leading scores (after 18 holes, ‘A’ denotes amateur): 72: Neha Tripathi, Ankita Tiwana; 74: Mehar Atwal (A); 75: Shweta Galande, Gursimar Badwal; 76: Millie Saroha (A); 77: Ankita Kedlaya (A), Anisha Padukone (A), Vani Kapoor.

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