Lying 23rd, Sharmila still in hunt at European Qualifiers

Updated: Jan 18, 2012, 22:12 PM IST

La Manga (Spain): India`s Sharmila Nicollet crossed the first hurdle of making the crucial four-round cut and stayed on course for the full playing privileges and playing rights on the Ladies European Tour as she carded a four-over 75 at the par-71 North Course here today.

She is now just one more round away from making the Ladies European Tour by finishing in top-30. She is now tied 23rd at five-over for four rounds and there is a round to go.

Sharmila, 20, playing at the demanding La Manga Golf Resort for the first time, jointly led the first round in the LET Qualifying School Final stage and then was tied second after two rounds.

She is now tied for 23rd as the top-50 progress for one more round, the fifth in as many days to fight for the 30 places that are available on the Ladies European Tour, one of the world`s biggest ladies professional golf tours.

Sharmila, who has never played five rounds on the trot in any tournament, also played four rounds last week in the pre-Qualifying, making it one of the most gruelling 10 days of the young pro`s career.

"It is tiring but I am focussed and I know it is just one more round. This is one of the biggest experiences of my career and I want to make full use of it," said Sharmila.

Sharmila, the lone Indian in the hunt, had two bogeys on the third and the eighth, before finding her first birdie on the ninth. On the back nine, she double bogeyed the 11th, 13th and 14th to fall five-over for the day. A birdie on the 15th brought back the focus and she ended the day with three closing pars and a round of 75.

As many as 52 players made the cut at nine-over and after the fifth and final round, the top-30 will get full playing rights and the rest will get conditional rights, which translates into fewer starts on the European Tour events.

England`s Jodi Ewart shot two-over 73 at the par-71 North Course but still led the field by four. She is now 11-under for four rounds. Second-placed Anais Maggetti shot six-under 67 on the par-73 South Course.