Avani shoots 66 to take 10-shot lead in 15th leg of WPGT

Chandigarh, Nov 17 (IANS) Avani Prashanth opened up one of the largest 36-hole leads in the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour as she added six-under 66 to her first-round card of 68 in the second round of the 15th Leg of the Tour at the Chandigarh Golf Club.
Amateur Avani, a multiple-time winner on the WPGT, is now 10-under for two rounds. She is 10 shots ahead of the second-placed Gaurika Bishnoi (74-70). Lying another four shots behind Gaurika are last week’s winner, Ridhima Dilawari (73-75) and Lakhmehar Pardesi (73-75) who are tied third.
Sneha Singh (72) had the day’s third-best round after Avani and Gaurika. Sneha moved up to fifth while Hitaashee Bakshi (74-76) and amateur Heena Kang (73-77) were tied sixth. Twenty-two girls made the cut, which fell at 15-over 159.
The talk of the day was the 16-year-old Avani, who had eight birdies and an eagle against a double bogey and two other bogeys. She had an eagle on par-5 second and then added birdies on the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes to make the turn in an electric 6-under 30.
The back nine had four more birdies, including one on the 10th for a hat-trick of gains from eighth to 10th. Avani dropped bogeys on the 12th and the 15th and a double bogey on the par-4 17th. In between, she had back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th and later a closing birdie on the 18th for a 66.
Though Avani has not won in 2022, she did win twice in 2021. She won the third leg at BPGC, where she had two cards of 67 and then in the 11th leg at Panchkula, she shot 66 in the second round. Last year she was runner-up to Amandeep Drall in Chandigarh.
Khushi Khanijau (77-75) and amateur Jia Kataria (73-79) were tied for eighth at 8-over 152, while Shweta Mansingh, Jyotsana Singh and Siddhi Kapoor were tied for tenth place at 9-over 153.

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