Sharmila misses cut in NZ Open despite two eagles

Christchurch: Aided by two eagles on the front nine, Sharmila Nicollet played a superb second round of one-under 71 but that still left her short of the cut line in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open on Saturday.

The only Indian on the Ladies European Tour finished her two rounds in five-over 149, which came at 147.

Also missing out was Kiran Matharu, who after 73 on first day stumbled to 76 and like Sharmila ended at 149 in tied 62nd place.

At the top, braving blustery conditions, 14-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand shot a second 69 and joined five others in a six-way tie for the lead with one more round to go.

For Sharmila, it was a very eventful front nine with two eagles, one birdie and four bogeys. On the back nine, she had one birdie and one eagle.

Starting with two pars, Sharmila dropped bogeys on third and fourth, but hit back with an eagle on the par-5 442-yard fifth hole. She again gave away a bogey on sixth. A birdie on the seventh was followed by yet another bogey on eighth. Then she again used her length of the tee to full advantage and landed a second eagle on par-5 439-yard ninth hole.

On the back nine, she had one birdie on 11th and a bogey on 12th and the rest were pars.

Kiran Matharu, who looked solid with her first round 73 was erratic on the second day. Starting on the tenth, she birdied the 12th to come to even par for the tournament. But a bogey on 14th was followed by three more bogeys in a row to turn in three-over.

She had further bogeys on first and third as she went to six-over for the tournament. The birdie on the seventh just brought her to five-over for 36 holes and that was not enough for the cut.

Ko, who opened with a three under par 69, was four under for her round and the outright leader at seven under par before she made bogey at the penultimate hole and then made par on 18 to sign for a 69.

Players took advantage of the morning conditions to move up the leaderboard headed by the trio of 21-year-old Colombia`s Mariajo Uribe, a former US Amateur champion, Australia`s Lindsey Wright and former Northlander Haeji Kang (Korea) to share the clubhouse lead.

As the winds picked up early in the afternoon, three other players Lydia Ko, American Alison Walshe (70) and Spain`s Carlota Ciganda (69) handled those conditions superbly to make six players tied for the lead.

Earlier, Uribe and Wright both shot rounds of four-under 68 today while Kang managed a second successive three-under 69.

The two round cut for the event for the top 50 and ties came at three over par.