Bangalore: Mehar Atwal set the KGA Golf Course alight with a superb four-under 68 that gave a headstart in the tournament as she opened with a five-shot lead over her nearest rival, Vani Kapoor (73) here at the Usha Southern India Ladies Golf Championships on Tuesday.
The electric performance also put Mehar, the niece of the celebrated golfer Arjun Atwal, six clear of the third-placed Tvesa Malik (74).
The card may well have been even better but for a bogey-bogey finish, as Mehar was six-under through 16 holes.
Mehar`s scores were all the more creditable considering the conditions -- the ground was heavy on account of rain last night and early morning -- forcing the organisers to allow preferred lies.
Mehar`s two errors came on the 17th and 18th. On the closing hole she went into the bunker and seemed distracted as she duffed a shot and ended with a bogey.
The last two holes played rather tough as only three players managed birdies on 17th and just one -- Millie Saroha -- got a birdie on 18th.
The fancied Aditi Ashok had a rough front nine of four-over 40 and finished the day at 76 at sixth place, tied with Millie Saroha (76).
Raksha Phadke and Rabiya Gill, with 75 each were tied fourth. Gurbani, who opened with a birdie, had a frustrating day with an 78, the same as Anisha Padukone.
Currently fifth on the Order of Merit, Mehar is within striking distance of the three players -- Gurbani Singh, Vani Kapoor and Shreya Ghei -- ahead of her.
Mehar opened with a birdie on the par-4 first and then added two more on fourth and sixth holes to turn in three-under. The run continued on the back nine and she was six-under at that stage, but with two back-to-back bogeys, she ended the day at 68.