Hainan (China): India’s Neha Tripathi opened in style with a two-under 70 that placed her tied-seventh at the USD 300,000 Sanya Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour here today.
There are as many as five Indian women in the field, with Neha, twice winner on domestic Tour this season, leading the way with five birdies against three bogeys.
Seasoned Smriti Mehra (72) was tied-26th and Vani Kapoor (74) was tied-54th, while Saaniya Sharma (75) and Amandeep Drall (80) were way behind in tied-74th and tied-119th place respectively.
With many of the regions’ top players at the LPGA event being held in the same week in Malaysia, this was an ideal event for the Indian women who are getting ready for their flagship event at home, the Hero Women’s Indian Open next month.
Neha, who has been working on her swing, started with a birdie on the tenth and ended the day with a birdie on ninth. She said, “I was just trying to use my experience of having played here before and when I came off the ninth with a birdie, it was good to be under par. I was not getting ahead of myself and just focusing on the fairways and the green. I have been working on my short, while my long game has been fine.”
She also added that she was looking forward to the Hero Women’s Indian Open next and that would be a good preparation.
Meanwhile, former Indian Open winner Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Rookie Leticia Ras-Anderica of Germany set the pace with a pair of five-under-par 67s in scorching conditions at Yalong Bay Golf Club.
Both players are competing in the tournament for the first time and hold a one stroke lead over Finland’s Oona Vartiainen, Gwladys Nocera of France and China’s Yan Liu.