New Delhi: France's Gwladys Nocera birdied the final three holes on her way to a dream start with a 9-under 64 to lead in the first round of the US300,000 Hero Women's India Open at the par-73 Delhi Golf Club, here on Thursday.
However, unheralded local professional Vaishavi Sinha stole the show when she submitted her scorecard of 6-under 67 to share second spot with Holly Clyburn of England.
Defending champion Thidapa Suwannapura shares the fifth spot with Liz Young of England, India's Monga Gauri, Sharmila Nicolette and Galande Shweta and Badhwal Gursimar on 3-under 70.
Nocera, 39, the current leader of the Order of Merit on the Ladies European Tour (LET), is no stranger to India, having won the first ever LET event in Bangalore in 2008.
Today, she declared that the par-73 Delhi Golf Club, is one of her favourites. She said: "I played well, everything went well and got all I wanted my way."
She said all disciplines of her game was strong and the course layout really suited her game "but you need to be a thinking player".
"I played as if I was playing a chess game. My moves were good, my thinking was right and this kept me going confidently," said Nocera. Starting on the back nine, Nocera's flawless round included birdies on the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th 11th, 14th, 15th and 18th.
Clyburn said she was comfortable all the way. "My shots were accurate, the greens were easy to read and I was striking the ball well."
Vaishavi, playing the second time in the event said she never felt comfortable before the tee off especially she did not prepare well for the tournament. "Now that I have a grip at the top I'm going to grip it harder," said the young lass from Noida, about 25km from Delhi.
Sharing the 10th spot are Vani Kapoor of India, Spain's Carlota Ciganda, Korean Suh Bo-mi, Fabienne In-Albon of Switzerlnd, and Thailand's Titiya Plucksataporn.