Gritty Sharmila storms into lead

19-year-old cards two-over 74

Gritty Sharmila storms into lead

On a testing day when wind played a huge role, the talented 19-year-old endured a topsy-turvy round to card two-over 74 to open a sizeable four-stroke lead over seasoned pro Rani Sonti and young Nalini Singh Siwach.

Pallavi Jain, Preetinder Kaur and Nitika Jadeja are tied for fourth spot at 79, the trio finding it extremely difficult just like the rest of the field to master the course.
“I am really happy to stay in front, but a bit disappointed,” said Sharmila. “I played very well on the front nine but the back nine was terrible. Probably, because the front is slow and the back is fast. The varying conditions takes a lot out of you.”

Bad luck

While the scores may suggest nothing special in Sharmila’s effort, the teenager could have finished with an under-par card had it not been for some close missed putts and a slice of bad luck.

Once her driving was in place the lass hit most fairways in regulation, but her short-game seemed to fluctuate, especially on the backward journey.

Sharmila picked her first stroke for the day on the fifth with a fine six-foot putt but was back on level par after dropping a shot on the seventh, two-putting from 15 feet.

She then made the turn at one-under with a superb 15-feet birdie on the ninth when luck began to desert her.

She dropped a stroke immediately on the 10th but missed two great chances to nullify the error. A lip-out on the 12th and a slight misjudgment on the very next hole cost her a birdie each respectively before bogeying the 15th.

The day ended in more pain for her, bogeying the par-4 18th despite a courageous recovery attempt.

She drove the ball way off the left fairway behind the trees and then she managed to chip it back on the second before hitting the green on the third, missing the par putt by a feet from 20 yards, but not by much.

Leading scores (after 18 holes): 74: Sharmila Nicollet; 78: Nalini Singh Siwach, Rani Sonti; 79: Pallavi Jain, Preetinder Kaur, Nitika Jadeja; 80: Saaniya Sharma, Nikita Arjun;
82: Mita Gowande. 83: Tvesa Malik; 84: Nikki Ponappa, Nalini Singh.
Amateurs: 80: Nikita Arjun; 83: Tvesa Malik; 91: Anisha Padukone.

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