Smriti fires 66 to win golf title

August 30th, 2012 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 30 (IANS) Smriti Mehra shot the week’s best four-under 66 to total 207 to win the second leg of the Hero-WGAI Women’s Pro Tour at Clover Greens here Thursday ahead of Sharmila Nicollet (209) and Nalini Singh Siwach (211).

Smriti, who turned 40 in May, started the day two strokes behind and that deficit became four by the end of the first two holes as overnight leader Sharmila began with two birdies. Then Smriti, using all her experience, fought back and turned in a fine all-round display as she played the last 16 holes in four-under despite two bogeys to emerge a convincing winner.

Neha Tripathi (71) was fourth at 214. Vani Kapoor played her best round of the week at two-under 68 and moved to tied fifth with Shraddhanjali Singh (72) at 220. Amateur Ankita Kedalya (69) totalled 216 and was the top amateur and overall she was fifth.

Smriti, a former LPGA Tour player who has also won on Futures Tour in the US, said: “I played steady and the only two times I three-putted I had bogeys. Actually, I did not look at the scores till the 18th green. I was just focusing on my play.”

Smriti, starting the day two behind Sharmila, lost two more shots as Sharmila had a birdie-birdie start on the third and final day. At that stage, Sharmila was four shots ahead of Smriti, who was also playing in the final group.

Both players birdied the third and then came the first swing, as Sharmila double-bogeyed the fourth and Smriti parred it. The drama did not stop there as Smriti bogeyed the fifth and Sharmila parred to push the gap to three shots.

Sharmila became cautious and parred the next four, while Smriti played aggressively and birdied sixth and seventh. When the duo turned, Smriti was only one behind Sharmila for the tournament.

The decisive and final swing came on the par-5 12th where Smriti reached the green in two and then birdied while Sharmila bogeyed the hole to fall behind.

Smriti did not let thereafter. She birdied the 16th and 17th and opened a three-shot lead as birdies continued to elude Sharmila. On the 18th and final, Smriti could even afford the luxury of a bogey to romp home a two-shot winner.

Sharmila stays on top of the Money List as the opening event last week carried a purse of Rs.10 lakh and this week it was Rs.Five lakh.

Leading scores after third and final round:
207: Smriti Mehra (69-72-66); 209: Sharmila Nicollet (71-68-70); 211: Nalini Singh Siwach (72-68-71); 214: Neha Tripathi (71-72-71); 216: Ankita Kedalya - A - (75-72-68); 220: Vani Kapoor (76-76-68) and Shraddhanjali Singh (74-74-72); 221: Saaniya Sharma (71-77-73); 225: Meghna Bal (71-80-74); 226: Ankita Tiwana (78-73-75).

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