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Saaniya Sharma begins as favourite

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Aug 12, 2015, 12:08 am IST
Updated : Aug 12, 2015, 12:08 am IST

Buoyed by her first title of the season last week, Chandigarh’s Saaniya Sharma will start the firm favourite in the 14th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Clover Greens in Bengalur

Saaniya Sharma
 Saaniya Sharma

Buoyed by her first title of the season last week, Chandigarh’s Saaniya Sharma will start the firm favourite in the 14th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Clover Greens in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The Rs 5 lakh event will see 14 professionals and amateur Trisha Sunil vying for top honours, and will culminate on Friday.

Saaniya, who put up an inspiring show in Coimbatore, will be eager to sustain her winning run and break into the top five in the money list. The Chandigarh professional, who is currently languishing in the lower half of the leaderboard with one win from 13 appearances, will however have to overcome the challenge from Delhi’s Vani Kapoor and Panchkula’s Amandeep Drall, who occupy the first and second places respectively in the money list.

Vani, currently leading the Order of Merit with `13,65,200 from 13 appearances, will be keen to add another title to her tally. She has been in a purple patch with four wins and six runners-up finishes, and will look to get back to winning ways and clinch her fifth title of the year.

Rookie Amandeep, second with earnings of `9,54,935, will also start as one of the strong contenders. Amandeep has played consistent golf throughout the season with one win and three runners-up finishes, and will be keen to assert her supremacy.

Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi, third in the Order of Merit with `8,62,766, will also look to set the ball rolling and land her first title of the year. Kapurthala’s Gursimar Badwal with total earnings of `6,06,566 is currently at the fifth spot. She will be eager to make an impact and push hard for her maiden professional victory.

The event will also see the return of Sharmila Nicollet. The Bengaluru golfer had skipped the last two events due to her European commitments, and is yet to open her account this year. She will look to break the jinx and end her title drought at the Clover Greens.

Pune’s Shweta Galande will seek to take inspiration from her title-winning performance at the venue in 2013, and finish the week on a high by clinching her second-ever victory on the tour.

Delhi’s Mehar Atwal, Gauri Monga and Ankita Tiwana along with Jaipur’s Afshan Fatima are the other contenders. Veteran Smriti Mehra, who is fourth in the order of merit, is playing overseas and will miss out.

The par 71 golf course, located on the outskirts of Bengaluru, is known for its strong and gusty winds, which is set to test the mental and physical ability of the players.