Smriti Mehra mounted a spirited comeback to clinch the second leg of the Hero-WGAI women’s pro golf tour at the Clover Greens on Thursday, finishing ahead of Sharmila Nicollet by two strokes.
Smriti, who started the day two shots behind Sharmila, sunk further when the latter began with two birdies to extend her lead to four strokes.
After reducing the lead to three by the fifth hole, Smriti shifted gears to birdie the sixth and seventh even as Sharmila parred the two holes.
Towards the end of the front nine, Smriti roared back into contention to be a stroke behind Sharmila, the winner of the first leg at the KGA course recently.
The par-5 12th hole turned out to be decisive. The 40-year-old Smriti reached the green in two and sunk the putt in two for a birdie. Sharmila could, however, only manage a bogey and lost her lead. Birdies on the 16th and 17th meant Smriti pulled ahead by three strokes and even a bogey on the final hole did not affect her chances. Sharmila, meanwhile, parred all holes after the 12th to finish second with one-under 209.
Smriti, the first Indian woman to compete on the LPGA Tour, won Rs. five lakh for her efforts. However, Sharmila remained on top of the money list as the title at KGA carried a purse of Rs. 10 lakh.
The third leg will begin on Sept. 3 at the Prestige Golfshire here.
Final scores (after 54 holes): Smriti Mehra (69, 72, 66) 207; Sharmila Nicollet (71,68, 70) 209; Nalini Singh Siwach (72, 68, 71) 211; Neha Tripathi (71, 72, 71) 214; Ankita Kedalya (amateur) (75, 72, 68) 216; Vani Kapoor (76, 76, 68), Shraddhanjali Singh (74, 74, 72) 220; Saaniya Sharma (71, 77, 73) 221; Meghna Bal (71, 80, 74) 225 and Ankita Tiwana (78, 73, 75) 226.
Keywords: Hero-WGAI women’s pro golf tour