Jahanvi, Hitaashee in battle of siblings

Jahanvi Bakshi in action on Day 1 of the 12th leg of HWPGT in Hyderabad.

Jahanvi Bakshi, who has been one of the most consistent players on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, played extremely steady golf to take a one-shot lead over her sister, Hitaashee, in the first round of the 12th leg of the Hero WPGT. Barring the opening leg in 2021, Jahanvi has finished top-5 in each of the last 10 legs and now leads the 12th leg. Jahanvi has won twice and been runner-up three times.

Playing at the Hyderabad Golf Club, Jahanvi had a birdie on second and 10th bit dropped a shot on 12th to card 1-under 70, the only sub-par round of the day. Her sister, Hitaashee, who has also won on the Tour, had bogeys on fourth and fifth, but neutralized them with birdies on seventh and 14th for an even par 71.

It will be interesting to see if Jahanvi can win a third title this year, as she and amateur Avani Prashanth, who is not here this week, are the only ones to win more than once.

Gaurika Bishnoi seemed headed for trouble as she had three bogeys in a row from third to fifth and a fourth on seventh. She recovered much of that ground with birdies on the ninth, 12th and 16th to finish at a much more respectable 1-over. Gaurika is seeking to end a title drought since June 2019.

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Vani Kapoor, who has not won since March 2020, amateur Sneha Singh winner of the eighth leg this season, and the Hero Order of Merit leader, Amandeep Drall are in tied fourth place with scores of 2-over 73 each.

Lakhmehar Pardesi, who won her maiden Hero WPGT title this year was lying seventh with 74 while Shagun Narain, Rhea Jha and Khushi Khanijau were tied for eight at 75.

Pranavi Urs and Ridhima Dilawari had a disappointing start with 76 each. In fact, Ridhima had one par on the front nine and four on the back nine. She had six birdies, four bogeys, two doubles and one triple bogey in a roller-coaster of a round 5-over 76.

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