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​Gursimar takes lead as Vani, Amandeep trail in Hero WPGT ninth leg

Bengaluru, Aug 23: Gursimar Badwal, who has just one title to her name in a professional career that dates back to 2014, carded the day’s only sub-par round of 71 to take sole lead at the end of the first round of the ninth leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2017.

While Gursimar went into lead, the two top stars, Vani Kapoor and Amandeep Drall, who between them have won five of the eight events this season, had a disappointing start. Vani shot 77 and Amandeep was further behind with 78.

The 24-year-old Gursimar, who hails from Kapurthala, won in Mumbai in February, 2016. On Wednesday at the lovely Prestige Golfshire, she did not have a great start with two bogeys on second and third holes and she turned in two-over after another bogey on sixth and her first birdie of the day on eighth. But Gursimar found her rhythm on the back nine, with four birdies. She birdied the 10th and then found three more in a span of four holes from 14th to 17th besides a bogey on 15th and ended at one-under 71.

Gursimar was two shots clear of amateur Ridhima Dilawari, who also birdied 16th and 17th enroute to a round of 73.

Four players, including amateur Pranavi Urs, Gaurika Bishnoi, who has not finished outside Top-10 this season in any of her eight starts, Neha Triptahi and Mehar Atwal shot 74 each to share the third place.

Siddhi Kapoor was seventh with 75, while Sonam Chugh, Suchitra Ramesh and Afshan Fatima were Tied-8th with rounds of 76 each.

The surprise of the day was Vani Kapoor, who just could not get going and shot five-over 77 to be Tied-11th and six shots behind the leader. Winner of three of the four tournaments she has played on the domestic circuit this season, Vani, had just one birdie on ninth. She had four other bogeys and a double bogey. But she has two more rounds to make amends.

Also bringing in a disappointing 78 was Amandeep Drall, who also had just one birdie. Amandeep, who has won twice and been second four times this year, had five bogeys and one double bogey and was 14th.

In the second round, Gursimar will go out with amateurs Pranvi Urs and Ridhima Dilawari, in the final group, while Gaurika Bishnoi, Neha Tripathi and Mehar Atwal will be together in second to last group.