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Phatlum begins title defence with a two-stroke lead

There was a familiar name up the first day’s leaderboard at the Indian Open...

Written by Express News Service | Gurgaon |
February 26, 2009 10:52:36 pm

There was a familiar name up the first day’s leaderboard at the Indian Open. Defending champion Phatlum Pornanong grabbed the early limelight with a four-under 68 that gave her a two-stroke lead over Kim Hae Jung of Korea. There was a four-way tie for the third position,with Thai Titiya Plucksataporn,Chinese Wei Li,Australian Nicole Montgomery and Korea’s Bo Mi Park at one-under 71.

The first Indian name came another notch down at tied seventh position,and was that of Saaniya Sharma with an even par 72. Smriti Mehra and Nalini Singh were among several others placed at tied 25th position with cards of four-over 76 at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

Tanya Wadhwa shot a three-over 75 to take the lead among the amateurs. Gauri Monga was placed second in that category at five-over 77,while Laverry Kumar and Shwata Galande were tied third at six-over 78 each.

Pornanong started her round with a birdie. Two more birdies followed on the sixth and eighth and the 19-year-old made the turn at three-under,leaving her he scope of playing the back-nine relatively safely. A birdie on the 11th was followed by a series of pars. “I hit the ball well today and my putting was good too,” she said. “The greens are a little harder this year,but I’m comfortable and looking forward to tomorrow,’ she added.

Hae Jung,who narrowly missed out on winning last week’s Thailand Ladies Open title,losing in a play-off to Thai Onnarin Sattayabanphot made the turn at one-under. She then birdied the tenth to go two-under. Her first and only bogey of the day on the 12th was offset by a birdie on the 15th.

LEADERBOARD: 1 Phatlum Pornanong (THA) -4 (68); Hae Jung Kim (KOR) -2 (70); Titaya Pluksataporn (THA),Wei Li (CHN),Nicole Montgomery (AUS),Bo Mi Park (KOR) -1 (71); Tandi Cuningham (RSA),Bing Lim (MAS),Breanne Loucks (GBR),Saaniya Sharma (IND),Veronoca Zoerzi (ITA) 0 (72)

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