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Vani keeps lead with Neha, Saaniya close on her heels

Vani Kapoor held on to a slender lead despite a fine under-par card from Neha Tripathi in the second round of the inaugural event of the 2018 Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Wednesday.

Four-time winner in six starts in the last season, Vani leads the field at five-over 149 and is one shot clear of Neha Tripathi (71) and Saaniya Sharma (73), who are at six-over 150. Close on their heels is Smriti Mehra (75) in sole fourth.

With just two shots separating the top four players, the stage is set for an interesting final round, which will see Vani go out in the last group alongside Neha and Saaniya.

Smriti will go in the second to last group with Gursimar Badwal and Tvesa Malik.

Vani, who started with a two-shot lead over the field, carded three-over 75 after starting and finishing with a bogey on first and 18th. In between, Vani had two other bogeys on fourth and sixth and just one birdie through the day par-3 16th.

Neha, whose three wins included one in the opening event of 2017, shot one-under 71 to make amends for a disappointing 79 in the first round.

Saaniya Sharma (73) also made significant gains on the second day with a card that showed three bogeys and two birdies, both of which came over the last three holes.

Smriti Mehra, tied second overnight, shot 75 and slipped to fourth, while Tvesa Malik (75) and Gursimar Badwal (77) are tied fifth at 9-over 153.

Afshan Fatima (74) and Amandeep Drall (76), who shot in the 80s on the first day, are now Tied-seventh at 12-over 156, while Suchitra Ramesh (81) is now 14-over and sole ninth. Mehar Atwal (79) and Millie Saroha (80) are Tied-10th at 160.

Suchitra Ramesh, Amandeep Drall and Afshan Fatima will go out in the third group, while Millie Saroha and Mehar Atwal will be in the two ball going out second in the morning. The first two-ball out will feature Tavleen Batra and Ayesha Kapur.

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