Gaurika blazes at Clover to lead by three in 8th leg of Hero WPGT

Hosur, Tamil Nadu, June 27: Gaurika Bishnoi fired a near-perfect round to open up a handy three-shot lead in the eighth leg of the Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour on Wednesday. Gaurika, who has played only two events so far this year, the second and the sixth legs, shot 3-under 69 with four birdies against one late bogey.

The 19-year-old Gurgaon-based Gaurika had made a stunning impression in her first full year on the Pro Tour in 2017 by topping the Hero Order of Merit. She won once and finished second numerous times.

Gaurika, who was second in the sixth leg of the current season, was three shots clear of Neha Tripathi and Amandeep Drall, who carded even par 72 each.

Gaurika found her first birdie on the Par-5 second hole but parred the rest of the holes right up to the 12th, which she birdied again. When she parred the 13th and found back-to-back birdies on 14th and 15th, Gaurika was 4-under with three more holes to go. A bogey on Par-3 16th spoilt the card but she finished with pars on 17thand 18th holes.

Neha Tripathi had a rough start with bogeys on first and third and a double bogey on Par-4 fifth, at which stage she was 4-over for five holes. She calmed herself down and birdied four in a row from seventh to 10th and added a fifth birdie on 12th to get under par. But she bogeyed 13th and 15th while finding another birdie on 14th as she finished the day at 72.

Amandeep had four bogeys, two each on either side of the course, but all her four birdies came on the back nine. She was 2-over for the front nine and 2-under for the backstretch and even for the round.

Trisha Sunil (73) was fourth, while Suchitra Ramesh and Smriti Mehra carded 74 each to be Tied-5th. Siddhi Kapoor (76) was seventh, while Ayesha Kapur and Khushi Khanijau were Tied-8th at 77 and Tvesa Malik, the top pro last week, shot a disappointing 78 with two double bogeys and was Tied-10th alongside Afshan Fatima.

Gaurika will play in the final group alongside Neha and Amandeep, while Trisha, Suchitra and Smriti will be in the group ahead of them.

Sonam Chugh, Gursimar Badwal and Anisha Padukone are in the first group for the second round to be followed by Millie Saroha, Afshan Fatima and Tvesa Malik. The third group of the day will have Khushi Khanijau, Ayesha Kapur and Siddhi Kapoor.