GURUGRAM: Jahanvi Bakshi’s comfort with the DLF Golf & Country Club continued to grow as she carded the day’s only under par round in the second round of the fifth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour. Jahanvi, who is still searching for her maiden win on the Tour, shot 3-under 69 to follow up on her first round 71 for 4-under 140 total and open up a handy four-shot lead over younger sister Hitaashee (71-73) with one round to go.
It is the first time a pair of sisters is occupying the first two spots in a Hero WPGT event. Some of the other sisters playing on the Tour include Atwals, Mehar and Seher, Badwals, Gursimar and Gurjot.
As the battle for the honours moved towards becoming a clash between Bakshi sisters, Vani Kapoor shot 73 after a first round 74 to lie at third and was three shots behind Hitaashee, as many as seven shots behind the leader Jahanvi.
Tvesa Malik, who began well with 71 on the first day slipped to 77 that included a triple on Par-5 eighth and a double on Par-4 ninth. She lies fourth with amateur Avani Prashanth (72-76).
Jahanvi, whose final round at the same course in the eighth leg of the Hero WPGT 2020 was a 69, was shooting her third straight sub-par round at the Gary Player layout. In the first round this week, she was five-under through 12 holes before a triple on 13th and a bogey on 15th set her back and she finished at one-under 71.
In the second round, Jahanvi picked birdies on Par-5 fourth, Par-3 fifth and Par-4 ninth to turn in 3-under. A birdie on Par-5 15th made amends for the bogey a day earlier and made it 4-under, but she dropped a shot on Par-4 17th and closed with a par for 69.
Jahanvi said, “The last time I played here in the 8th leg I shot 3-under 69 so I knew it was possible. I tried to stay clear of the errors of yesterday. Last year was a rookie season for both of and Hitaashee won leg nine, so she inspired me. She is the youngest, so if she could I knew I could also win.”
They often play together in practice but this time it is for a professional title.
Hitaashee, though younger, broke through on the pro ranks with a win late in 2020. In the second round, Hitaashee, who started in T-2nd place, had just one birdie on Par-5 15th, but dropped shots on Par-5 fourth and Par-4 17th.
Amateur Avani Prashanth battled hard despite a rough patch, when she dropped bogey-double bogey-double bogey between third and fifth. She made some amends with four birdies overall in her card of 76. With her first round 72, she is 4-over 148 and tied-fourth with experienced Tvesa Malik (71-77).
Lakhmehar Pardesi (76-75) is sixth, while Amandeep Drall (79-74) is seventh. Four players, Jyotsana Singh, Shagun Narain, amateur Vidhatri Urs and Oviya Reddi share the eighth place.
Overnight leader Saaniya Sharma slipped from 70 on day one to 89 on the second for a 19-shot swing and dropped to T-16.
Tee times for the third and final round: 8:00 AM: Diksha Dagar 168; Disha Kavery 167; 8:10: Ishvari Prasanna 166; Anisha Agarwalla 166; 8:20: Rhea Jha 165; Trimann Saluja 165; Astha Madan 164; 8:30: Ananya Datar 164; Gauri Karhade 163; Rishika Muralidhar (A) 163; 8:45: Neha Tripathi 162; Geetika Ahuja 162; Nishna Patel (A) 162; 8:55: Gaurika Bishnoi 160; Saaniya Sharma 159; Khushi Khanijau 159; 9:05: Shweta Mansingh 158; Riya Yadav (A) 157; Durga Nittur 157; 9:15: Hunar Mittal (A) 156; Oviya Reddi 155; Vidhatri Urs (A) 155; 9:30: Shagun Narain 155; Jyotsana Singh 155; Amandeep Drall 153; 9:40: Lakhmehar Pardesi 151; Tvesa Malik 148; Avani Prashanth (A) 148; 9:50 AM: Vani Kapoor 147; Hitaashee Bakshi 144; Jahanvi Bakshi 140.