Gurugram: Teenager Anika Verma shot a stunning five-under 67 in the third round to be the best ranked Indian at tied ninth alongside compatriot Tvesa Malik in the Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament.
The 15-year-old Anika, who had six birdies, five of them on the front nine, against one bogey added a 67 to her first two round scores of 76-72.
While Tvesa followed her even par 72-72 with a 71. The duo are one-under par 215, seven shots behind leader Christine Wolf.
“I left a few shots out there on the course but I made the putts when I needed them. Overall, I’m very happy with my first under-par round of the week and positive about tomorrow,” Tvesa said.
Meanwhile, Wolf exorcised the ghosts of the past with a birdie on the 18th in the third round to take sole possession of the lead after 54 holes. She is now eight-under and one shot clear of Meghan MacLaren (69).
Another shot behind at seven-under 209 was Marianne Skarpnord (71), the highest-ranked player from the LET Order of Merit in this field.
Vani Kapoor shot an even par 72 to be tied-13th at one-over 217, following a steady round, in the course of which she swapped two bogeys for as many birdies.
Amandeep Drall could not build on her momentum of Friday with a three-over 75 that dropped her into a tie for 27th place at three-over 219.
Astha Madan was next best at four-over 220 (73, 75, 72) with her first par round of the week.
Diksha Dagar too left shots out on the course and is now tied 36th at five-over 221 (72, 73, 76) and Gaurika Bishnoi was tied-42 at six-over 222 (73, 74, 75).
Anika, till recently India’s top ranked junior and a qualifier in the US Girls Championship earlier in the year, hit six birdies and looked poised to bring in a bogey-free card till she dropped a shot on the intimidating par-4 17th hole. That was her only blemish of the day as she showed great composure and calm.
“I kept hitting it very good today. I didn’t need very long putts other than the eighth hole where I needed a little over 20 feet for the conversion. Most of my approach shots were within range so I could just go for most of the putts,” Anika said.