Smriti Mehra shot a superb four-under 68 to move to three-under 141 and will now try to hold off Nalini Singh Siwach’s challenge in the third and final round of the fifth leg of the Hero-WGAI Women’s Pro Golf Tour in Gurgaon.
Smriti, who rallied in the final round of the last event to beat Nalini, is all set to take a one-shot lead in the third round on Friday at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Smriti, already a winner in two of the four legs, shot 73 in first round.
Nalini after a first round 70, carded an even par 72 in second to be placed at number two at 142.
Vani Kapoor is a distant third with round of 76 and 73 and she is tied with Saaniya Sharma (74-75). Both of them are at 149.
Neha Tripathi (74-79) is in fifth place and Meghna Bal (78-79) complete the top six.
Smriti pulled herself ahead of the pack with a birdie on the second before she gave that shot away on the fifth. But a birdie on the very next hole saw her go through the front nine in one-under. Birdies on the 10th and 12th saw her move to three-under, even as Nalini was one-over at that stage.
Both were playing in the same lead group.
Smriti dropped a bogey on 13th, while Nalini bogeyed the 15th. Then both had a great birdie-birdie finish with birdies on 17th and 18th.
Smriti’s 68 as compared to Nalini’s 72 helped her wipe out the overnight three-shot deficit and move one ahead.
Vani had bogeys on the fourth and 18th and her only birdie of the day came on par-4 17th.
Saaniya looked in great form with two birdies and no bogeys on front nine. She continued her great work with a third birdie on 12th at which stage she was three-under. But a double bogey on par-4 13th was the start of her troubles. She then lapsed into a series of errors with bogeys on four of the last five holes to end up at 75.