Gaurika and Rhea share lead after first round
Khel Today Bureau
Gurugram: Gaurika Bishnoi, looking for back-to-back wins and Rhea Jha, looking for a maiden win on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, were tied for the lead after the first round of the seventh leg of the 2023 season at the pristine DLF Golf & Country Club.
Gaurika, 24, and Rhea, 20, shot 1-under 71 each and were the only ones to shoot under par for the day. Experienced Vani Kapoor, for whom the DLF Golf and Country Club is her home course, carded even par 72.
Ridhima Dilawari, coming back after a fruitful season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa, and amateur Vidhatri Urs, who is part of the Indian national amateur team, were tied for fourth place with 73 each, while Tvesa Malik and Amandeep Drall, both of whom have a lot of experience and wins on the Hero WPGT, were tied for sixth place with rounds of 74 each.
The challenging Gary Player design layout saw every player in the Top-10 barring amateur Vidhatri, drop at least one double bogey or worse in the round. Vidhatri had three birdies and four bogeys.
Rhea, who plays most of her golf in Gurugram and trains under Deepinder Khullar at the DLF Golf and Country Club, seemed at home as she carded two birdies in the first four holes. A double bogey on the demanding ninth hole meant she was back to even par. On the back nine she birdied 10th and 13th but dropped a shot on 12th for a day’s work of 71.
Gaurika opened birdie-birdie but then slipped with a bogey on Par-4 sixth and a double bogey on par-5 eighth. She turned in one-over 37. On the back nine, she displayed good form again with three birdies – on the 11tth, 12th and 15th, but a late bogey on Par-4 17th saw her end the day at 71.
Vani Kapoor also had two birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine, but she suffered a triple bogey on Par-4 seventh, a hole which saw a lot of well-known players dropping shots. Vani, who had a Top-10 finish at the same course at the Hero Women’s Indian Open last year, bogeyed on 12th and then again on the closing hole, the 18th.
Amandeep Drall, who also has good memories of the course where she came close to her maiden Ladies European Tour title at the Women’s Indian Open last year, had two birdies, one bogey and one double bogey in her 74.
Tvesa Malik, who lost a play-off on the third extra hole last week to Gaurika Bishnoi, had two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in her card of 74.
Agrima Manral and Asmitha Sathish are tied eighth with rounds of 75 each, while Seher Atwal and Rhea Purvi Saravanan were tied 10th with rounds of 76 each.
Tee times for the second round of the seventh leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the DLF Golf and Country Club:
1. 7:30 am: Geetika Ahuja 94, Khushi 92
2. 7:40 am: Anaggha Venkatesh 92, Lavanya Gupta (A) 88
3. 7:50 am: Anisha Agarwalla 87, Saaniya Sharma 84, Shagun Narain 84
4. 8:00 am: Hitaashee Bakshi 83, Jyotsana Singh 83, Rishika Muralidhar (A) 83
5. 8:10 am: Sneha Singh 83, Suchitra Ramesh 82, Neha Tripathi 82
6. 8:25 am: Durga Nittur 82, Khushi Khanijau 82, Jasmine Shekar 81
7. 8:35 am: Lakhmehar Pardesi 81, Anvvi Dahhiya (A) 80, Shweta Mansingh 80
8. 8:45 am: Ishvari Prasanna 79, Keerthana Rajeev (A) 79, Ananya Datar 79
9. 8:55 am: Lavanya Jadon (A) 78, Oviya Reddi 77, Kriti Chowhan 77
10. 9:10 am: Riya Yadav 77, Rhea Purvi Saravanan 76, Seher Atwal 76
11. 9:20 am: Asmitha Sathish 75, Agrima Manral 75, Amandeep Drall 74
12. 9:30 am: Tvesa Malik 74, Vidhatri Urs (A) 73, Ridhima Dilawari 73
13. 9:40 am: Vani Kapoor 72, Gaurika Bishnoi 71, Rhea Jha 71.