Sharmila qualifies for final stage of Ladies European Tour

La Manga: India`s Sharmila Nicollet played tremendous golf under pressure to qualify for the final stage of the Ladies European Tour Q-School with a superb even par 73 at the La Manga South Course.

Sharmila, the No. 1 professional in India, finished with a four-round score of eight-over 296 in the tournament that was played over two courses.

She, who finished in a tie for 19th place, up from tied 27th overnight, had rounds of 74, 80, 69 and 73 and was the only Indian to make the final stage of the LET`s Qualifying School.

"It is a fantastic feeling, but I have one more step to go. It has been a great experience playing in these kind of conditions and in such a field," said Sharmila, who will now play in the 90-hole final stage that begins on Sunday.

Sharmila, who had a great two-under 69 on third day, continued in the same vein and played very steady golf with eight pars to start with followed by a birdie on the ninth in the fourth and final round.

A bogey on the 10th set her back, but the eagle on the par-5 gave her the momentum she needed. She held on despite bogeys on 14th and 17th for a card of 73 and moved one step closer to making the elite Ladies European Tour.

Meanwhile, Smriti Mehra, India`s most experienced professional, too, had a chance of making it to the final stage, but a string of three bogeys in the last four holes cost her dear and she missed the qualification.

From being two-under after 14 holes, she finished one-over 72 on the par-71 North Course. She finished with a total of 14-over 302 in Group B.

The last player to make the top-35 and ties was at 12-over in tied 34th place, as 37 players made it from the group.