Avani Prashanth shares lead in individual standings at Queen Sirikit Cup

Manila, Feb 21 (PTI) Teen Indian golfer Avani Prashanth shared the top spot in individual standings after carding a four-under 68 in the opening round of Queen Sirikit Cup here on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old Indian shared the lead with New Zealand’s Fiona Xu and Rianne Malixi of the Philippines at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters Course.

Prashanth had five birdies against a solitary bogey, while Xu snared six birdies but dropped shots at 13 and 16.

The other two Indians in the competition are Vidhatri Urs (74) and Nishna Patel (80).

As a team India were tied sixth.

Meanwhile, a new-look Korean team overcame early nerves to claim opening-day honours.

With Seo Kyu-rim carding a 69 and Yoo Hyun-jo contributing a 70, Korea soared to the top of the leaderboard at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

With the two best daily scores in each three-strong team counting in the 12-nation Asia-Pacific Amateur Ladies Golf Team Championship, Kim Min-sol’s 73 was not required.

On a day of impressive scoring over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters Course, New Zealand’s Fiona Xu, Indian Avani Prashanth and Rianne Malixi of the Philippines – all scored 68.

While Fiona Xu, Avani and Malixi — three of the Asia-Pacific’s brightest golfing prospects — shared the lead, nine other players bettered par, including Japan’s Yuna Araki, fifth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Araki’s two-under 70 was one better than compatriot Mizuki Hashimoto and Chinese-Taipei’s Tiffany Huang Ting-hsuan, the past two winners of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific.

Hashimoto was also the leading individual at last year’s Queen Sirikit Cup in Singapore, helping Japan to end a 20-year victory drought in the event.

With a five-under aggregate of 139, Korea heads into the second day with a one-stroke lead from New Zealand and Thailand. Hong Kong, China and defending champions Japan are a further stroke back in joint fourth.

They are followed by India and the Philippines (142), China and Indonesia (145), and Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Singapore (147).

Source: PTI News

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