Ladies European Golf: India’s Sharmila shares leadJanuary 16th, 2012 - 12:54 am ICT by IANS
La Manga (Spain), Jan 15 (IANS) India’s Sharmila Nicollet went into joint lead at the end of the first round of the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage on Sunday. She carded a brilliant five-under 68 at the par-73 South Course at the La Manga Golf Resort.
Sharmila, 20, shared the lead with Dutch golfer Chrisje de Vries, who also carded five-under, but it was a 66 at the par-71 North Course at the same resort at the La Manga Club in Spain.
Nicollet had seven birdies and two bogeys for an opening 68 on the South Course while De Vries had four birdies, one bogey and an eagle two at the ninth hole in a 66 on the North Course.
Sharmila said: “This is my first experience here in Spain and at the qualifiers. The whole of India is behind me. I am the only Indian to qualify so a lot of motivation and pressure got me through.
Sharmila, the only Indian to make the stage, had four birdies in first five holes after starting from the tenth. She had birdies on 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th. After bogeying the 17th she turned in three-under.
On her second nine, Sharmila had birdies on the fourth, sixth and eighth and dropped a shot on fifth to end the day at a stunning 68 on the tough course.
“I love Europe and want to play here so that motivates me to want to play here. I’m in my comfort zone in India so I need to test myself. Playing five under par amongst the top players has boosted my confidence for the last few days. I’m in good form and my game is good so that pretty much sums up my feelings. The weather was perfect and it was the best time to play so I’m loving everything.”
She said that all parts of her game came together, but she was particularly pleased to have had only 29 putts. “I’m very comfortable with my driving and putting, but putting was probably my strength today. I holed a lot of medium range putts and started birdie, birdie, birdie, so I was four under after five.”
England’s Jodi Ewart, Germany’s Stephanie Kirchmayr, Sweden’s Elin Emanuelsson and Spain’s Laura Cabanillas were the next best placed players on three under par.
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