Sharmila shares lead with Nalini

Noida: Sharmila Nicollet roared back with three birdies on the trot on her last three holes to card two-under 70 and take a share of the lead with Nalini Singh Siwach (70) on the opening day after the first round of the 12th leg of Hero Women`s Pro Golf Tour on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, veteran Smriti Mehra lurked just one shot behind Sharmila and Nalini at 71. Japan`s Mika Ikemura playing for the first time on an Indian domestic Tour event, shot 73 and was placed fourth, one shot ahead of Meghna Bal (74).

Neha Tripathi was lying sixth at 76. Sharmila, returning to the domestic tour after missing last the two legs, had a sedate beginning with one birdie on the par-5 third hole but she bogeyed the fourth and seventh to turn in one-over.

On the back nine, she birdied the 11th to come to even par but again dropped a shot on par-5 13th. Then she had a grandstand finish with three birdies in a row from 16th to 18th and ended the day at 70.

Nalini had a flawless opening nine with two birdies and rest pars. On the back nine she gave away a shot on 10th, but quickly got it back on 13th and added yet another birdie on 15th to go to three-under. But she lost the chance to be in sole lead as she bogeyed the 18th.

Smriti opened with a double bogey on first and had another bogey on fourth to be three-over at one stage. But she recovered very well with birdies on fifth, sixth and 17th and had no further bogeys.

Shraddhanjali Singh (77) and Seiko Miyata, the second Japanese player in the field, with 78 were seventh and eighth, respectively.

The Jaypee Greens comes back to the schedule after the Tour skipped an event in Jaipur. The next event will be the BT Pro-AM of Champions.