It was a disappointing day for Vani Kapoor, who carded two-over 74 on the opening day of the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Hainan,
China. Vani, who was tied-6th last week at Hero Women’s Indian Open, was even par after 16 holes before she bogeyed the last two holes for 74.
Also shooting 74 was Saaniya Sharma, who had two bogeys and no birdies.
Smriti Mehra and Neha Tripathi with 78 each and Amandeep Drall (79) are the other Indians in the field. Rookie professional Celine Boutier of France and Wichanee Meechai of Thailand fired five-under-par 67s to share the first-round lead.
They hold a one-stroke lead over nine other players — Marianne Skarpnord, Prima Thammaraks, Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Yan-Hong Pan, Kristen Farmer, Lee-Anne Pace, Solar Lee and Marta Sanz Barrio.
Boutier has only played in two other Ladies European Tour tournaments this season, finishing tied for 11th in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open and tied for 6th in the Hero Women’s Indian Open over the last fortnight.
She spent most of her time on the US Symetra Tour, where she has won two titles and locked up her place on the LPGA Tour for the 2018 season.