Principal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Seasoned Shruti Khanna played consistently to grab a three-stroke lead with a round of two-over 74 in the gold category (handicap 0-12), on the opening day of the all-India ladies amateur golf championship at the Delhi Golf Club course here on Tuesday.

Shruti took an outward stretch for 37 comprising a birdie and a double bogey and was homebound in as many shots with a bogey on the par-5 18.

The 14-year-old Laverry Kumar, who has handicap of -3, did well to be placed second at 77, two strokes ahead of zero handicapper, Vaishavi Sinha, Pragya Misra and Nalini Singh.

On a slightly windy day, the tree-lined DGC course created problems for many. Most of the Zimbabweans taking part in the championship strayed into the bushes and returned high scores. Meghna Bal, the zero handicapper and who qualified for the U.S. Junior girls championship last year, had a tough time after hitting into the jungle from the first tee.

She could never recover after the disastrous par-5 first hole, which triple-bogeyed. Meghana returned a card of 82 and was sixth in the gold category.

The scores: Gold category (handicap 0-12): Shruti Khanna 74, Laverry Kumar 77, Vaishavi Sinha, Pragya Misra and Nalini Singh 79, Meghna Bal 82, Mani Chander 83, Krishna K. Tyagraj 84, Aditi Mehta 85.

Silver category (handicap 13-24): Gurbani Singh and Gauri Monga 84, Hanisha Daryani and Sonia Barman 85, Sonal Chaudhri 88, Bubbles Suneja 91.

Bronze category (handicap 25-36): Aruna Sharma 103, Neelu Chopra 106, Savita Talwar 107, Rashmi Singh 108, S. C. Mahtab and Nimmi Dhir 110.

Junior: Laverry Kumar 77, Vaishavi Sinha and Nalini Singh 79, Meghna Bal 82, Mani Chander 83.

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