Golfer Gaurika Bishnoi displayed a lot of consistency and poise to card a second successive under par round to take a three-shot lead into the final round of the fourth leg of the Hero women's Pro Tour at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens, here on Thursday.
Gaurika, awaiting her first win this season, added a second straight 71 to move to two-under 142 and three ahead of Ridhima Dilawari, who carded one-over 73 in the second round for a total of 145.
Amandeep Drall bounced back from her first round 76 with the day's best card of two-under 70, which included a fine run of four birdies in five holes between the 13th and 17th holes.
Neha Tripathi, who had contrasting fortunes on the front and back nines, shot 74 and was lying fourth at 148.
Gaurika, who won just once despite being in contention on numerous occasions last season, had three birdies on the front nine but also gave back the gains with three bogeys.
She opened with a birdie on second, but back-to-back bogeys on third and fourth set her back. Successive birdies on sixth and seventh followed by a bogey on ninth saw Gaurika turn in even par 36.
On the back nine, Gaurika was more steady with just one bogey on 13th and birdies on the 15th and 17th for a 71.
Ridhima looked set for a low round as she turned in one-under with two birdies and one bogey. She added two more birdies on 10th and 12th to be three-under at that stage. Then came the unfortunate double bogey, which took away the momentum and she bogeyed the 16th and 18th to end up at 73.
Amandeep had a rocky start with bogeys on first and third but also a birdie in between. She birdied the sixth but gave away a bogey on ninth, which proved to be the toughest hole of the day with all but four players registering bogeys on it.
Amandeep was two-over through 12 holes before she hit a purple patch with birdies on 13th, 14th and 15th followed by another on the 17th to finish the day at two-under 70.
Neha, opening with a bogey, also had a hat-trick of birdies from third to fifth and a fourth at seventh, but she also bogeyed the ninth and turned in two-under 34. She was hit by four bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine, though birdies on 14th and 17th prevented further damage.
Even though Gaurika holds a three-shot lead, the final round could see a close fight between the top three players, including Ridhima and Amandeep.
Suchitra Ramesh (73) and Siddhi Kapoor (75) were tied-fifth at 151. Gursimar Badwal (75) and Smriti Mehra (79) occupied the seventh and eighth spots, while Afshan Fatima (75) and Ananya Datar (77) were tied-ninth to complete the Top-10.
Ayesha Kapur and Anousha Tripathi will start the action on the final day in the first two-ball, to be followed by Sonam Chugh, Khushi Khanijau and Mehar Atwal.
The third group will see Sifat Alag, Anisha Padukone and Ananya Datar play together, while Afshan Fatima, Smriti Mehra and Gursimar are in the fourth group.
The penultimate group has Siddhi, Suchitra and Neha, while the final lead group comprises Amandeep, Ridhima and Gaurika.
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