Gurgaon: Amateur Gauri Monga was best-placed Indian at tied 37 but it was rookie golfer Caroline Hedwall of Sweden who grabbed the lead after turning in a brilliant four-under 68 at the second round of the Hero Women`s India Open on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Hedwall blasted a series of birdies at the last three holes to aggregate 135 -- a one-stroke lead over another Swede Linda Wessberg and Thailand`s Pornanong Phatlum.
Yesterday`s joint leaders Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden and Thailand`s Nontaya Srisawang failed to continue in the same vein and are placed at sixth and tied 14th respectively with totals of 140 and 142. Srisawang shot a four-over 76, while Lindberg carded 74 at the DLF Golf and Country Club here.
Seasoned golfer Smriti Mehra found the going tough today and succumbed to a five-over 77 to share the 50th place with compatriots Sharmila Nicollet and the young Vani Kapoor who carded 74 and 75 respectively for a total of 149.
Already assured of Ladies European Tour`s Rookie of the Year with three titles in the bag, Hedwall said there won`t be any let up as she is aiming to catch up with Melissa Reid for the second spot in the Henderson`s Money List.
"I cannot be the winner as Japan`s Ai Miyazato is way ahead in the money list," said Hedwall who claimed she played pretty well under the chilly conditions and fairly strong winds.
With mum Yvonne carrying her bag, Hedwall said she is enjoying a good season and gave herself a Grade A on the greens.
"I putted very well and was feeling very confident and noticed where I was when I looked at the leaderboard," she said.
However, it was her country woman Wessberg who shot the day`s lowest score of six-under 66 to rise to be tied second spot and the swede said a short training in Dubai last week and a recent golf camp in Orlando paid here rich dividends.
"Yes, it helped me and my game. I didn`t really play any different from yesterday only that the putts were rolling in well. Had an eagle chance on the 18th but I two-putted and missed that advantage," said Wessberg who has a 136 total.
Phatlum is loves the DLF Country Club is out to go for a win to be a first three-time winner.
"My game is good, I had good rounds yesterday and today. Today my ball striking was not too good - only hit seven fairways -but but I made it up with good chipping and putting.
"I`ll definitely switch to aggressive mode pending on the playing conditions to snatch a win here," she said.
Wales` Becky Morgan and Scotland`s Vikki Laing were four strokes off the leader on 139.