Smriti wins ninth leg of domestic Pro Tour

New Delhi: Seasoned Smriti Mehra handed a lesson or two to the younger lot, firing a final round of four-under 68 to win the ninth leg of the Hero Women`s Professional Golf Tour 2011-12 in New Delhi.

Smriti, who had five birdies including four in stunning back nine that came in four-under 31, breezed ahead of Neha Tripathi (71) and Sharmila Nicollet (74) with her final round score at the Chandigarh Golf Club.

She totalled five-under 216 for three rounds and ended a winner by four shots over Neha Tripathi.

It was Smriti`s second win of the season, though she also picked a winner`s cheque in the third leg, where amateur Aditi Ashok was the winner.

Smriti, starting the day one behind overnight leader Sharmila, bogeyed the fourth, but Sharmila after a birdie on first double bogeyed the second. As Smriti played steady golf, Sharmila cracked with a double bogey on seventh and a bogey on eighth.

On the back nine, Sharmila dropped three more bogeys against two birdies, but Smriti was on a roll with birdies on 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th.

Neha had birdies on first and third but a bogey on ninth was a setback. She picked up a birdie on 11th, but bogeys on 15th and 17th as Smriti kept rolling in the birdies derailed her challenge.

In between Neha did have a birdie on 16th but by then Smriti had virtually run away with the title. Neha was second at 215 and Sharmila third at 216.

Nalini Singh Siwach (74-74-72) was fourth at 220 and Meghna Bal fifth at 222. Saaniya Sharma was sixth at 230.

Smriti becomes the second player after Sharmila to win two titles. Neha Tripathi, Saaniya Sharma and Nalini Singh Siwach have once each. Amateurs Aditi Ashok and Vani Kapoor have triumphed once each.

Smriti, as runner-up to Aditi, picked the winners cheque in the third leg and Nalini as runner-up to Vani got the top purse in the fifth leg.

Smriti`s win will also help her challenge Sharmila for the Money title this season.

This was the ninth leg of the 15-leg Hero Women`s Professional Golf Tour. There will now be a break in the Tour and the tenth leg begins at Tollygunge Club from January 31.


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