Pranavi Urs lead by two at the end of first day Pre-Qualifier-Asia
Gurugram, Nov 8 : Pranavi Urs opened her campaign to earn a Ladies European Tour (LET) card with a bogey-free four-under 68 that gave her a two-shot lead after the first round of the three-round Pre-Qualifier ' Asia.
The leaderboard had a strong Indian touch with Tvesa Malik, who is trying to regain her status on the LET, and Durga Nittur, who is trying to get on Tour for the first time. Both Malik and Nittur carded rounds of two-under 70 each. Only one other player, Neha Tripathi (71) was under par.
Nittur had a great finish with four birdies in the last five holes, with the gains coming on the 14th and 15th and again on 17th and the 18th.
'The ball striking was really good, but I missed a few small putts. However, I also made some really good saves. Still, a bogey-free round is good, so overall a good day. I look forward to keeping the momentum going,' said Urs.
Tournament favourite amateur Avani Prashanth was one of the five players to shoot even par 72. The others were Ananya Datar, Ridhima Dilawari, who opened the day's proceedings and played alone with a marker, Seher Atwal and Singapore's Sock Hwee Koh, who had also played at the Hero Women's Indian Open.
A total of 29 players are in the fray in the 54-hole affair, from which the top-8 and ties will progress to LET Q-School Final Stage.
Urs, who dominated the domestic Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour in 2022, divided her time in 2023 between the Epson Tour in the US and LET in Europe. Now she is looking at getting onto the LET.
Even though Urs came back with a bogey-free round, she felt she left some shots out there.
Playing alongside the leader was Tripathi, who said, 'I missed quite a few, but Pranavi was quite impressive.'
Malik had five birdies and three bogeys and said, 'It could have been a lot better, but to begin with two-under is ok I suppose. Hopefully things will be better as this was just the first day. Two more to go.'
Nittur was two-over after seven holes but fought very well on the back nine. She birdied the 10th but again dropped a shot on 13th to go two-over again. Then she birdied four times in the last four holes for a fine two-under round.
Amateur Prashanth was disappointed with her start. The 16-year-old was not happy with her play on the greens. She had four birdies against four bogeys, with two each of birdies and bogeys on either side of the course.
'I was pretty decent off the tee but I did not putt the best but definitely a low one is coming. I was in position everywhere so I just have to figure out my putting and I will get a low one,' said Prasanth.
While this is the first pre-qualifier, a second one is scheduled to be held at the Golf Club Rotana and Samanah Golf by Nicklaus and Noria Golf Club from December 10-12.
The gruelling five-round 90-hole Qualifying School Final Stage will be held at the Al Maadan Golf Marrakech & Royal Club de Marrakech from December 16-20.