Sharmila Nicollet snatched a spirited play-off victory over debutant Vani Kapoor to clinch the first leg of the Hero-WGAI Tour in dramatic fashion at the KGA course, here on Friday.

Trailing by four strokes from overnight leader Vani, the 21-year-old carded a bogey-free two-under-70 on the final day to force a play-off, where she held her nerve to grab the title and with it, a cheque for Rs. 262,500.

Nicollet, playing on her home course, opened the round with a birdie before sinking another on the seventh to be two-under at the turn. She then parred all holes on the back nine to draw level with Vani and take the contest into a play-off. The latter, for her part, was par for the front nine, but bogeyed twice on the back stretch to allow Nicollet back in.

Nalini Singh Siwach shot even par on the day to finish third, five strokes behind the top two at a total of 222. Veteran Smriti Mehra (224) was fourth, one stroke ahead of local amateur Aditi Ashok in fifth.

Final scores (top six after 54 holes): Sharmila Nicollet (71, 76, 70), Vani Kapoor (75, 68, 74) 217 (Sharmila won on the first play-off hole); Nalini Singh Siwach (74, 76, 72) 222; Smriti Mehra (77, 71, 76) 224; Aditi Ashok (A) (74, 78, 73) 225; Neha Tripathi (73, 78, 78) 229.

Keywords: Hero-WGAI Tour