Gurgaon: Nalini Singh Siwach maintained her steady form with a fine even-par round of 72 to take a two-shot lead at the end of the first round of Hero-WGAI Women`s Pro Tour, the eighth leg of the Indian women`s domestic tour.
Nalini was two shots clear of Saaniya Sharma, who is still looking for her first win this season.
Smriti Mehra, winner of three titles this year, paid for her triple bogey eight on the par-5 third hole to finish at 75 and three behind the leader.
She was tied for third with Vani Kapoor.
Nalini, who has already won once on the Hero-WGAI Tour, had three birdies and three bogeys. She bogeyed the seventh but got that back on the very next hole to turn in even par.
On the back nine, a birdie on par-3 11th got her under par, before she gave away bogeys on 13th and 15th, but a closing birdie on 18th saw her finish at even par.
Saaniya, who has time and again given away the advantage, had one birdie against three bogeys in her two-over 74.
Vani, winner last week at Delhi Golf Club, birdied the third, but then had back-to-back bogeys on fifth and sixth and then again on 15th and 16th. The rest were pars in her 75.
Neha Tripathi with one birdie, four bogeys and one double bogey carded 77 and was fifth, while Meghna Bal, Nikki Ponappa and Rani Sonti were sixth at 78.
On the Money List, Smriti has won Rs 7,67,750 this year, while Nalini has Rs 6,98,000. Vani with Rs 6,72,250 is on third place.
This season Smriti has won three times, while Vani, Sharmila and Nalini have won once each.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.