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Fine start by Smriti Mehra in Morocco; Nicollet disappoints

Agadir: Smriti Mehra overcame blustery conditions to shoot a creditable one-over 72 to stay tied on 21st, at the end of the first round of the Lalla Meryem Cup on Friday.

However, things were rather bleak for Sharmila Nicollet, who ballooned to seven-over 78 in the first round at the windy Golf de l`Ocean course.

A seasoned golfer, Mehra had pulled out midway through Hero Women`s Pro Tour earlier in the month, while leading by 10 shots, because of being charged with indiscipline.

She also lost her place at the top of the Indian Order of Merit because of that, and dropped to second.

Mehra had three birdies against four bogeys in the first round.

Meanwhile, Marianne Skarpnord made a perfect start as she carded a five under par 66. The Norwegian, a joint runner-up at the same venue last year, fired a five under par 66 in breezy conditions to end the day a stroke clear of South African rookie Melissa Eaton.

Next best on three under was young Briton Charley Hull, 17, who made a blistering start with four birdies in her first six holes. However, she came back in one over after bogey on the 12th.

Impressive Thai rookie Ariya Jutanugarn, also 17, was a shot back in a group of four players on two under par alongside English trio Melissa Reid, Sophie Walker and rookie Holly Clyburn, another of the 38 rookies in the tournament.