Amateur Avani Prashanth overcame a string of bogeys on the front nine to stay in touch with seasoned professionals Vani Kapoor and Amandeep Drall to share the lead after two rounds of the 10th leg of the Hero Women's Professional Golf Tour at the Chandigarh Golf Club.
Amandeep Drall (68-74) had an off day with three bogeys on the front nine against just one birdie on the back, while Vani Kapoor (72-70) showed form and rhythm of the old with six birdies against an opening double bogey and two bogeys, including a late one on 17th, for a round of 2-under 70.
Vani, who has been trying to re-discover the form that made her a dominant force on the domestic circuit, was in a terrific run through the second round. Despite a double bogey on first, she quickly fought back with birdies on second and third and then added another birdie on seventh to turn in one-under. On the back nine, after a bogey on 10th she reeled off three birdies in a row from 12th to 14th but dropped a shot on 17th.
Avani, who also opened with a bogey, had four bogeys against three birdies in her card of 73.
With totals of 2-under 142 each, the three will go out together in the final group on the final day and it promises to be a tight battle, as Vani and Amandeep seek their first win in 2021 and Avani chases her second title this year.
Jahanvi Bakshi, who carded 71 in the first round, was 1-over 73 and was lying two shots adrift of the three leaders in sole fourth place. Her sister Hitaashee (75-73), was tied alongside amateur Puneet K Bajwa (72-76) in fifth place. Rhea P Saravanan (75-74) and Gaurika Bishnoi (75-74) were tied seventh at 149, while Pranavi Urs (75-75) and Seher Atwal (71-79) completed the Top-10.
The cut fell at 158 and among the prominent names missing from the final day draw were Afshan Fatima and Smriti Mehra.
A total of 22 players will play the final round in the Rs 10 lakh event.
( 368 Words)