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Gursimar shows welcome return to form; shares lead with Vani in 14th Leg of Hero WPGT

Gurugram, October 25: Gursimar Badwal made amends for a disappointing first round and showed a welcome return to form with the day’s best of one-under 71 to grab a share of the lead in the 14th leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour.

On a day, when the scores showed a marked improvement over the first day, the 24-year-old golfer from Kapurthala had an amazing six birdies in her round. But she also dropped five bogeys in her 71. Twice she had back-to-back birdies on fifth and sixth and again on 12th and 13th. She would also have been disappointed at having dropped bogeys on two Par-5s at the fourth and 15th.

At five-over 149, Gursimar, who is from the same town as Gaganjeet Bhullar, is tied with overnight leader, Vani Kapoor (74). Vani had a very disappointing finish, losing as many as four shots in the last four holes, which included a double bogey seven on par-5 18th. Vani’s birdies came on second, eighth, 11th and 12th and she was two-under for the day after 14 holes before hitting the bad patch. She bogeyed 15th, 17th and double bogeyed 18th.

Amateur Pranavi Urs was lurking close behind at six-over 150 with a one-over 73 card in the second round. Pranavi was very steady for the first 11 holes, at which point she was one-under for the day. However, over the tougher back nine, she dropped three bogeys but picked a fine birdie on the tough 18th.

The top three showed that they were getting used to the Gary Player course at the DLF Golf and Country Resort just in time for the upcoming Hero Women’s Indian Open. Gursimar, especially, will love the return to form, after her twin successes in Bengaluru in successive weeks in the ninth and 10th legs of the Tour. As compared to her two wins, Vani has three, while amateur Pranavi has a best of second place behind Gursimar in the 10th leg.

Saaniya Sharma (74), who had a terrible triple bogey on Par-5 15th, was fourth at 151, while Afshan Fatima (75) was fifth at 153.

Neha Tripathi (76), amateur Ananya Barthakur (77) and Tvesa Malik (78) were all tied for sixth place at 155, while Amandeep Drall (81), who had a horrendous start with three bogeys and a quadruple nine on par-5 fourth, was lying ninth at 157. Smriti Mehra (79) was 10th at 158.

Siddhi Kapoor (79) and Order of Merit leader, Gaurika Bishnoi (83) were further behind in 11th and 12th places.

The final round should be closely contested in the lead group with the top two, Gursimar and Vani, tied at 149 and Pranavi just one shot behind. The second last group has Saaniya, Afshan Fatima and Neha grouped together, while Amandeep Drall, Tvesa Malik and amateur Ananya will play together.