Mehar Atwal in Lead at Usha Southern India Ladies Golf

Bangalore, Sep 20 (IANS): Teenager Mehar Atwal set the KGA Golf Course alight with a superb four-under 68 in the opening round of the Usha Southern India Ladies Golf Championships here Tuesday.

The card may well have been even better but for a bogey-bogey finish, as Mehar was six-under through 16 holes.

The electric performance gave Mehar, niece of celebrated golfer Arjun Atwal, a great headstart in the championships as she opened a five-shot lead over her nearest rival, Vani Kapoor (73). She was six clear of the third placed Tvesa Malik (74). Mehar's scores were all the more creditable considering the conditions as the ground was heavy on account of rain last night and early morning, forcing the organizing to allow preferred lies.

Mehar's two errors came on the 17th and 18th. On the closing hole she went into the bunker and seemed distracted as she duffed a shot and ended with a bogey. The last two holes played rather tough as one only three players managed birdies on 17th and just one, Millie Saroha got a birdie on 18th.

The fancied Aditi Ashok had a rough front nine of four-over 40 and finished the day at 76 in sixth place, where she was tied with Millie Saroha (76). Raksha Phadke and Rabiya Gill, with 75 each were tied fourth. Gurbani, who opened with a birdie had a frustrating day with an 78, the same as Anisha Padukone.

Currently fifth on the Order of Merit, Mehar is within striking distance of the three players, Gurbani Singh, Vani Kapoor and Shreya Ghei, ahead of her.

Mehar opened with a birdie on the par-4 first and then added two more on fourth and sixth holes to turn in three-under. The run continued on the back nine where 12th, 15th and 16th with some terrific hitting and putting. She was six-under at that stage, but with two back-to-back bogeys, she ended the day at 68.


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Title: Mehar Atwal in Lead at Usha Southern India Ladies Golf

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