Hero WPG Tour: Tvesa Malik shoots 69, takes five-shot lead

India’s Tvesa Malik takes her tally to one-under 139, comfortably ahead of second-placed Smriti Mehra.

Rollicking start: Tvesa Malik was far ahead of the rest of the field after two fruitful rounds.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda (File Photo)

India’s Tvesa Malik shot four-under-30 on the front nine to open up a five-shot lead after two rounds at the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour (16th leg) on Thursday. At the Palms Golf Club and Resort here, after her eventful round, Tvesa became the only player to get into red numbers; she registered three bogeys on the back nine after four birdies in the first half.

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Tvesa, who has won three times this season and leads the Order of Merit by a comfortable margin, opened with a birdie on the Par-5 first and added a second on the third hole. Two more birdies on the par-4 sixth and Par-5 ninth saw Tvesa get to the turn at four-under. Three bogeys on the back nine pulled her back, but she was still way ahead of the rest.

Pegged back on back nine

Her 69 took her tally to one-under 139, five shots ahead of Smriti Mehra (71-73). Smriti also had a fruitful front nine, with three birdies against one bogey. But she could not maintain the tempo on the back nine, where she had five bogeys, including two on the last two holes. She is currently four-over 144.

Ridhima Dilawari, who is still in the nascent stages of her pro career, shot 72 to make up for her first round 75. She lies third at seven-over 147. Amandeep Drall (75-74) lies sole fourth at nine-over 149.

Smriti Mehra registered a four-over 144. File Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Siddhi Kapoor (78-73), Khushi Khanijau (78-73) and Gursimar Badwal (74-77) are tied fifth at 151, while Neha Tripathi (75-77) is eighth. Afshan Fatima (78-75) at 153 and Millie Saroha (76-78) at 154 completed the top 10.

Komal Chaudhary, Saaniya Sharma and Millie Saroha will go out in the first group, and will be followed by Afshan Fatima, Neha Tripathi and Gursimar. Khushi, Siddhi and Amandeep are in the penultimate threesome, while Ridhima, Smriti and Tvesa will tee off last in the lead group.