Manu Gandas of India in action. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
Here are all the major updates and developments in Indian sport on March 10.
Gandas opens with a round 71 in Kenya, Sharma trails back
India’s Manu Gandas had a fine start and an equally bright finish, but bogeys in between meant he carded a one-under 70 to lie Tied-50th after the first round of the Magical Kenya Open on the DP World Tour.
The 26-year-old Shubhankar Sharma, who is of the same age as Gandas but is senior in terms of experience on the DP World Tour, had a rough day with a card of two-over 73 at the USD 2 million event. He was tied 109 and will need a low round to make the cut.
John Catlin and Dylan Mostert shared the first round lead after carding seven-under 64 each.
Mostert, who won the Nelson Mandela Bay Championship on the European Challenge Tour just a fortnight ago, set the early pace at Muthaiga Golf Club as the South African carded eight birdies and one bogey.
Gandas, who earned a passage into the DP World Tour after topping the PGTI Order of Merit with six wins in 2022, has been slowly finding his feet on the Tour, where he is playing for the first full season. He had creditable finishes at the Thailand Classic (T-28) and the Hero Indian Open (T-32).
Sharma, who opened the season with a tied seventh finish at Abu Dhabi, has since then also finished in Top-15 at the Indian Open.
In the first round of the Kenya Open, Sharma had an eagle, one birdie and five bogeys as he struggled with various parts of his game.
Nishna and Avani make cut, placed inside top-20 at WAAP
Nishna Patel kept her calm despite a disastrous front nine as she came back with a bogey-free 3-under back nine to move into the top-15 at the halfway stage of the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific (WAAP) Championship in Singapore on Friday.
Playing the WAAP for the third time, Nishna, who also had made the cut last year, carded even par 72 with halves of 39-33.
With her first round 71, she stayed under par at 1-under 141 and was the best Indian at tied-13th place.
Avani Prashanth, the Queen Sirikit Cup champion, continued to have problems with the putter and found a series of double breaks that she found difficult to read.
Still, she finished with a birdie on the ninth, her last hole of the second round. Avani is now even par 144 and tied 19th.
While Nishna and Avani made the grade for the final two rounds, the other four Indians — Mannat Brar (76-77), Anika Varma (74-81), Lavanya Jadon (78-79) and Vidhatri Urs (77-81) – missed the cut, which fell at 6-over 150.
Sneha keeps 2-shot lead in 5th Leg of Hero WPGT with Gaurika, Jasmine in close chase
Sneha Singh carded a one-under 71 to lead by two shots after the second day of the fifth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Friday.
Sneha, who turned in even par and had two early birdies on the back nine, was bogey free for the stretch till she dropped a shot on the Par-5 18th.
She was five-under 139 for 36 holes.
Gaurika Bishnoi, who had four birdies, also suffered back-to-back bogeys on sixth and seventh and carded 71, one of the four players to get that score on the second day.
Gaurika had 70 on the first day and is now 3-under 141.
Lying third also Jasmine Shekar (71), who has been coming close to the leaders often enough. She had two birdies and one bogey. In the first round she shot 72 and is now 1-under 143.
Sneha opened the day with a birdie but dropped two bogeys in succession on third and fourth and then birdied seventh and ninth with a bogey in between on eighth. On the back nine she birdied 10th and 11th, but dropped a shot on 18th.
Sneha already has a win this season in the third leg and is looking to be the first multiple winner in 2023. Jasmine was second to Sneha in the third leg and is looking for her maiden win, while Gaurika won the 13th leg in 2022.
Khushi Khanijau (73-73) was fourth, while Tvesa Malik, trying to play herself back into form after a long break, had four birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey in her 73 and was tied fifth with Rhea Jha.
The fourth player to card 71 was Ananya Datar, who after 83 on the first day, improved by 12 shots to shoot 1-under 71 and was lying 12th.
With just three players under par, a tense tussle is on the cards between the top three Sneha, Gaurika and Jasmine.
The cut fell at 12 with 16 professionals and 2 amateurs making it through to the final round.
Prithviraj shoots 74 out of 75
Prithviraj Tondaiman put himself in a good position as he shot 74 out of 75 in trap in the shotgun World Cup in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.
Prithviraj shot rounds of 24, 25 and 25 and was on par with 12 others, behind the leaders Matthew John of Britain and Oguzhan Tuzun of Turkey who had perfect scores of 75.
Olympic quota winner Bhowneesh Mendiratta (73) and Zoravar Singh Sandhu (72) were in the 26th and 33rd spots after three rounds, in a strong field of 118 shooters.
Competing in the RPO section, Olympian Kynan Chenai had 70.
In women’s trap, Shreyasi Singh shot 72, following rounds of 23, 25 and 24, for the sixth place with the third-best core. Preeti Rajak (64) and Rajeshwari Kumari (62) found themselves in the 48th and 52nd spots in a field of 62 shooters, while Kirti Gupta in RPO section shot 66.
Two more rounds of qualification on Saturday will identify the top eight for the semifinals.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
ITF juniors: Vihaan Reddy sails into final, set to face Aarjun Pandit
Vihaan Reddy played close to his best as he outplayed top seed Tejas Ahuja 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals of the ITF junior tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Friday.
Playing with minimum fuss, no expression of emotions, and maximum efficiency, Vihaan stroked Tejas off the court.
Competing in his backyard, as he regularly trains at the venue, Tejas did put up a quality performance, but Vihaan was a notch better as he calmly executed a vibrant game that had hints of a bright future written all over it.
In the final, Vihaan will play Aarjun Pandit who worked his way past sixth seed Smit Patel 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.
In the girls section, Maaya Rajeshwaran was operating with high energy as she won the first set against Ariana Gogulina of Kazakhstan, but the latter overcame spells of frustration to eke out a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory. In the final, the Kazakh will play Nainika Reddy who sweated it out in three sets against Snigdha Kanta.
ITF Tennis: Ishaque Eqbal loses quarterfinals
Ishaque Eqbal was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Maxence of France in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Kish Island, Iran, on Friday.
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