Pune: Unheralded Tavleen Batra, who is still searching for her first win as a professional, shared the first round lead with Neha Tripathi and Tvesa Malik on the opening day of the fourth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Wednesday.
Tavleen shot 77 on a difficult scoring day as did Neha and Tvesa. Tavleen was the only one among the three co-leaders to have a birdie in the first round at the challenging Oxford Golf Resort. Her solitary birdie came on the Par-5 fourth hole, while she had six bogeys, including three in a row from fifth to seventh.
The 21-year-old Tavleen, who hails from Ambala, turned pro only last year.
Neha, the three-time winner in 2017 and Tvesa, who won twice in eight starts last season, had identical scorecards on the front nine with bogeys on first and second and a third bogey on seventh. They turned in 3-over 39 each. On the back nine, Neha bogeyed 10th and 12th, while Tvesa dropped shots on 17th and 18th.
Three players, Trisha Sunil, Saaniya Sharma and Suchitra Ramesh carded 78 each to be one shot behind the leaders while Siddhi Kapoor and Smriti Mehra shot 79 apiece in Tied-7th place.
Khushi Khanijau (80) was ninth, while Millie Saroha, Ayesha Kapur, Anisha Padukone and Gursimar Badwal carded 82 each in Tied-10th place.
The surprise of the day was Gursimar Badwal, the leader on the Order of Merit and the winner last week at Poona Club Golf Course. She started the day with three bogeys on first three holes and then added a double on fourth followed by yet another bogey on fifth. At that stage she was six over after five holes. She bogeyed eighth and double bogeyed ninth to turn in a disastrous 9-over 45. On the back nine she was steady with just one bogey on 12th while the rest were pars.
In the second round the first two groups will be in two-ball with Sonam Chugh and Afshan Fatima the first to go out, followed by Mehar Atwal and Gursimar Badwal. In the third group, Anisha, Ayesha and Millie will play together while Khushi, Smriti and Siddhi are in the next group. They will be followed by Saaniya, Trisha and Suchitra in the second to last group while Tavleen, Neha and Tvesa will tee off in the final three-ball.