Smriti clinches title at Hero Women`s Pro golf

Bangalore: Smriti Mehra turned in a stunning
finish with five birdies in the last five holes to overhaul
young Sharmila Nicollet on the homestretch and win the second
leg of the Hero Women`s Professional Golf Tour at the Eagleton
Golf Resort Thursday.

With five birdies in a row, Smriti turned three-shot
deficit into a two-shot lead and Sharmila was left stranded.

Smriti, who tied with Sharmila in second spot last week,
went one better with a superb card of five-under 67 and opened
her title count for the season with a total of 206. She
finished two better than Sharmila, who had a final day`s card
of 71 and a total of 208.

Smriti began the day two behind Sharmila and the two
along with Nalini Singh Siwach formed the lead group on the
final day.

At the end of the front nine, Sharmila was still two
ahead as both Smriti and Sharmila had an even par 36 for the
stretch. Smriti had one birdie on the par-5 sixth and a bogey
on par-4 eighth. Sharmila had birdies on par-5 first and par-5
sixth but she also dropped shots on second and ninth.

Then it was Sharmila who increased the lead to three with
a birdie on the 10th. The gap stayed as such till the end of
the 13th hole. Then began the big turnaround. Sharmila did not
play badly, in fact she parred the last five holes, but Smriti
had five birdies and the tables turned.

Nalini Singh Siwach (69) was third at 210 and Neha
Tripathi (70) and amateur Aditi Ashok tied for fifth spot.
Interestingly, Neha and Aditi had gone into a play-off for the
title last week before former won the first leg.

Siwach had five birdies and two bogeys in her 69, while
Neha had four birdies and two bogeys in her 70. The
13-year-old amateur Aditi Ashok, who has held her own among
senior pros, had four birdies and three bogeys in her 71.

Apart from Smriti`s birdie run, the highlight of the day
came from Meghna Bal who shot the first hole-in-one of the
season as she found the target with her tee shot on the
128-yard par-3 17th.

She totaled 72, the best card for her this week, as she
ended at 225 in sixth place.

This was the end of the second of the three legs in and
around Bangalore with a total purse of Rs 8.5 lakhs. The three
events form the start the of the season which will see a
record 15 events over the next eight months. The Tour this
season will have a minimum of Rs 42 lakhs at stake during the

The final leg of the Southern Swing of the Hero Women`s
Pro Golf Tour will be held at Clover Greens here from August
29 to September 1.


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