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Golfer Neha grabs lead at Jaypee Greens

Greater Noida: Kolkata's Neha Tripathi returned with a score of 2 under 70 to soar to pole position on Day 1 of the Rs.6 lakh 15th leg of the Hero Women's Professional Golf Tour here on Tuesday. Trailing her by one stroke is veteran Smriti Mehra at the Jaypee Greens.

Neha started the quest for her first title of the season in style, playing a bogey-free front nine with a lone birdie on the eighth. She kept the momentum going on her return journey and fired two more birdies on the 11th and 14th. Her lone blemish came on the 17th.

Kolkata's Smriti, who returned to the tour after missing a few events due to overseas commitments, carded 1 under 71 to take second. She had an indifferent start and dropped two shots on the fifth and ninth holes.

However, she grew in confidence as the day progressed and fired four birdies on the 11th, 13th, 15th and 18th while dropping a shot on the 12th. Her tally of four birdies was the maximum by any player on the day.

Panchkula's Amandeep Drall returned with a level par score to finish third. She started well with a birdie on the first but could not sustain the momentum and dropped two consecutive shots on the second and third.

However, she recovered immediately, carding two birdies on the fourth and sixth. She played with much more composure in her back-nine and could have finished higher, but for a bogey on the 18th.

Order of Merit leader Vani Kapoor, Kapurthala's Gursimar Badwal, Bengaluru's Sharmila Nicollet and amateurs Diksha Dagar and Tvesa Malik returned with identical scores of 2 over 74 to end tied fourth.

Vani had an off day and her card consisted of four bogeys on the sixth, eighth, 10th and 18th along with two birdies on the 11th and 17th. Gursimar dropped three shots on the second, fourth and 11th with a lone birdie on the fifth.

Sharmila fired a lone birdie on the 15th while dropping a shot on the fifth along with a double on the 18th. Diksha carded three birdies on the first, 11th and 18th while dropping shots on the third, seventh and 10th. She also had a double on the 17th.

Tvesa's round consisted of three birdies on the fourth, seventh and 14th but five bogeys on the eighth, 12th, 13th 17th and 18th undid her good work.

Amateur Anisha Padukone was ninth with a score of 3 over 75, followed by the Delhi duo of Mehar Atwal and Ankita Tiwana in tied 10th with identical scores of 4 over 76.

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