Smriti, Neha top Indians at tied 35 after Rd 1 in Indian Open

Gurgaon: Seasoned golfer Smriti Mehra and young Neha Tripathi were the best-placed Indians at tied 35 after carding a matching 72 in the opening round of the USD 300,000 Hero Women`s Indian Open.

Swede Pernilla Lindberg and Thailand`s Nontaya Srisawang battled foggy conditions to grab the opening day`s honours with identical scores of six-under 66 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

England golfers Caroline Hedwall and Florentyna Parker and two-time champion Pornanong Phatlum from Thailand carded 67s to lie tied third, one stroke behind the leaders.

Kiran Matharu, an English golfer of Indian origin, carded a superb 68, including three birdies, an eagle on 18th and a bogey to lie fourth.

Defending champion Laura Davies` luck continued to blow hot and cold and she was left to use a trolley to cart her bag around the course after her caddie Johnny Scott`s flight was delayed. Scott had missed his flight yesterday.

Davies shot 75 and with 60 and ties making the cut she cannot afford another disappointing round.

Among others, the charismatic Christina Kim finished with a 72.

Smriri rode on a nice patch in the middle of the round with four birdies between the sixth and 12th holes but a bogey on the 17th and a three putt on 18th pulled her back.

"I played solid today. My driving and iron play were satisfactory. However, I need to take a lot less time on the putting green. This is what I`ll be addressing tomorrow. The course played superb and I`m happy with my overall game," said Smriti.

Neha, one-under through the front nine, dropped three bogeys between 10th and 14th but she picked two good birdies on the 16th and 18th to come to even-par 72.


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