Bangalore golfer Sharmila Nicollet took an early lead after the first round of the Hero Women's Professional Golf tour Leg 1 being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club here Wednesday.
On a day when all golfers struggled to score in windy conditions, Sharmila took the lead with a steady four over 76. Nikki Ponappa finished second after day one with a not so impressive seven over 79. Veteran golfer Smriti Mehra and Ankita Tiwana are joint third with identical scores of eight over 80 at the end of the first day's play.
Sharmila, who is coming back after a nagging injury in 2013, got off to a bad start with three bogies in the first three holes. She steadied herself thereafter and had two birdies on the eighth and 14th holes. Three more bogies in the back nine meant she had to settle for an over par score after day one.
Ponappa carded a lone birdie on the fourth and had six bogies and one double bogey in her score of seven over 79. Smriti also had a rough day as she had seven bogies and a double bogey, with a solitary birdie on the fourth to finish tied third after round one with Ankita, who failed to card even a single birdie. They both ended the day at eight over 80.
Shraddhanjali Singh, Pallavi Jain, Shweta Galande and Neha Tripathi are tied fifth after round one with scores of nine over 81.