Golfer Saaniya Sharma struck a purple patch towards the end of the front nine at the challenging Hyderabad Golf Association course on the way to a two-under 69 on the second day at the 11th leg of the Hero WPG Tour here.
Saaniya’s round has been the only sub-par round of the week. After a first round 76, she is now one-over 145 and leads by two shots over Amandeep Drall (73).
Seasoned Smriti Mehra (74) was third, while Gursimar Badwal (79), winner of the last two events, fell back as she dropped five shots between ninth and 12th holes. Overnight leader Gursimar is now fourth at 152, seven shots behind Saaniya.
A Chandigarh pro, Saaniya skipped the last two events in Bengaluru as she played at the LPGA Qualifying Round Stage I in the US. She last won the Hero WPGT in Coimbatore in 2015.
For the second day running, Trisha Sunil and Ayesha Kapur carded identical rounds of 79 and were tied sixth at 155 while Afshan Fatima (77) and Siddhi Kapoor (81) were joint eighth at 156.
Neha Tripathi (77) was 10th along with the sole amateur in the field, Rhea P. Saravanan (79) at 157.
On the final day Saaniya, Amandeep and Smriti will go out in the leader group. Only Amandeep has tasted victory this season as she won twice in Ahmedabad and Gurgaon legs, while Smriti’s best this year has been second at Ahmedabad and Saaniya’s best has been second at Kolkata.