Women’s Professional Golf Tour, 12th leg: Amateurs Kriti, Vidhatri share lead with Pranavi after opening round
Amateurs Kriti Chowhan and Vidhatri Urs hogged the limelight as they shared the opening day honours with Pranavi Urs in the 12th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The trio shot 2-under 68 each and held a one-shot advantage over Anisha Agarwalla (69) at the Hyderabad Golf Association course.
There was another indication of the growing strength in women’s golf as yet another amateur, Keerthana R Nair was tied fifth alongside Seher Atwal with a round of even par 70.
The Jaipur-based Kriti, daughter of an Army officer, has played frequently on the Hero Women’s Pro Tour and even finished in Top-3 overall in 2021.
She was the runner-up at the All India Ladies Amateurs in November 2021, where she lost to India’s top amateur Avani Prashanth in the final.
Kriti also took part in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship in Abu Dhabi in 2021. She has finished consistently well on the domestic Tour but of late wins have eluded her.
Kriti made ample use of the morning conditions and had five birdies against three bogeys, two of them on fourth and fifth, which played rather difficult.
The highlight of the round was a hat-trick of birdies from sixth to eighth, immediately after the back-to-back bogeys. She dropped a late bogey on Par-4 18th.
Kriti was the clubhouse leader and she was later joined by Pranavi and then Vidhatri, a cousin of this season’s four-time winner Pranavi.
The leader on the Hero Order of Merit, Pranavi had four birdies in her first eight holes, but also dropped shots on fourth and fifth.
She turned in 2-under 34. She began the back nine in style with an eagle on Par-5 10th, but dropped a double bogey on Par-4 15th and finished with 68.
Vidhatri, who has been steadily improving her game, had four birdies against two bogeys.
Anisha Agarwalla had one of her best rounds in recent weeks with a 69 that included five birdies and four bogeys.
Amateur Heena Kang and Gauri Karhade tied for seventh with scores of 71 each, while last week’s winner Hitaashee Bakshi, Ishvari Prasanna and Shweta Mansingh were tied ninth with 72 each.
Sneha Singh had a rough day in her hometown with a round of 73 and Jahanvi Bakshi shot 79.
Dhananjay Singh bt seventh seed Chandril Sood 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(2) in the pre-quarterfinals of the Verka Rs.100,000 AITA men’s tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In the quarterfinals, Dhananjay will challenge the top seed Ishaque Eqbal who eased past Amit Bzad for the loss of one game.
In the Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament, Rachita Talwar beat Sanjami Arora 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against second seed Vanshika Choudhary at the Joygaon Academy in Jhajjar.
Vanshika beat Riya Sachdeva 6-4, 6-3. Kashish Bhatia, Kavya Kkhirwar, Sahira Singh, Riya Uboveja, Shimreen Ahamed and Hitakamya Singh Narwal were the others to make the quarterfinals.
AITA men’s tournament
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Ishaque Eqbal bt Amit Bzad 6-1, 6-0; Dhananjay Singh bt Chandril Sood 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(2); Neeraj Yashpaul bt Shubham Malhotra 6-2, 6-4; Maan Kesarwani bt Anuj Malik 6-4, 6-2; Suraj Prabodh bt Shivank Bhatnagar 6-1, 4-6, 6-1; Sarthak Suden bt Parth Aggarwal 7-6(6), 5-2 (conceded); KS Siddharth Arya bt Ayush Gurnani 6-3, 6-3; Dalwinder Singh bt Lakshit Sood 6-0, 3-0 (conceded).
AITA women’s tournament
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Kashish Bhatia bt Bhumika Rohilla 6-0, 6-3; Kavya Khirwar bt Shireen Ahamed 6-2, 6-2; Sahira Singh bt Gnana Ashwitha Boyanapallli 6-2, 6-1; Riya Uboveja bt Abhilasha Bista 6-0, 6-4; Shimreen Ahamed bt Tanushri Pandey 6-0, 7-5; Hitakamya Singh Narwal bt Ananya Dhankhar 6-1, 6-0; Rachita Talwar bt Sanjami Arora 5-7, 6-2, 6-1; Vanshika Choudhary bt Riya Sachdeva 6-4, 6-3.
– Kamesh Srinivasan