Nishna Patel top Indian at 11th place in WAAP, favoured Avani lies 21st -

Nishna Patel top Indian at 11th place in WAAP, favoured Avani lies 21st

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 09: Nishna Patel of India plays a shot during Day One of The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship on The New Course at The Singapore Island Country Club on March 09, 2023 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

 Khel Today Bureau 

Singapore: Nishna Patel was the top Indian at the end of the first round of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship. She was tied 11th as she shot 1-under 71 and was four shots behind the leader Korea’s Kim Minsol.

Avani Prashanth, the 16-year-old winner of the Queen Sirikit Cup 10 days ago and one of the strong contenders for the event, shot 1-over  73 but was disappointed at having missed a lot of putts and making some mistakes that cost her five bogeys against four bridies. Avani was tied 21st after the first round and was six shots behind the leader.

Avani played with Kim Minsol, the World No. 14, who shot 67 Japan’s Rin Yoshida, the highest-ranked player at No. 4, who carded 3-over-par 75.

Among the other Indians was US-based Anika Varma (74), who was 1-under through 12 holes but dropped three shots in last six holes. Anika was tied 28th. The other three Indians were Mannat Brar (76) at T-53rd, Vidhatri Urs (77) at T-60 and Lavanya Jadon (78) at T-64.

Playing in her third start at the annual marquee event Nishna, said she was learning from the experience of playing a lot of internationals in recent times.

Nishna said, “It was quite good overall. I was hitting the ball really well. I was happy with it, and the putting was good, though I could have saved a few shots as some birdie putts lipped out.”

Talking of the experience she has gained from previous WAAP starts and the Queen Sirikit Cup, she said, “Yeah, definitely that has helped. Since the last WAAP I have learned so much.”

The leader Korean Kim Minsol, whose 67 included an eagle and a double bogey besides five birdies.

Behind the leader, there were three players, Ni Zixin of China, Thailand’s little-known Navaporn Soontreeyapas and Hong Kong’s Sophie Han were tied second with cards of 4-under 68 each.

Avani said, “I had a lot of dropped shots. I made four birdies, but dropped five shots which was not needed at all. Made some silly mistakes on the course and I couldn’t cover them up. My up-and-down game was absolutely off today, but hopefully it’s better tomorrow.

“As for putting,  I had a couple of mis-reads and was not really trusting the line as much, even though what I saw was perfectly correct. And just a couple of times I hit it to the wrong places.”

Indian scores: T-11: Nishna Patel 71 (-1), T-21: Avani Prashanth 73 (+1), T-28 Anika Varma 74 (+2), T-53: Mannat Brar (76 (+4), T-60: Vidhatri Urs 77 (+5), T-64: Lavanya Jadon 78 (+6).

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