Avani Prashanth leads Indian charge on Day 1 of Australian Amateur Championship
New Delhi: Continuing with her rich vein of form, talented Indian golfer Avani Prashanth carded one-under 72 to take the tied seventh position after the first round of the presitigious Australian Amateur Championship. The event is being played on two courses in Melbourne – Keysborough Golf Club and Yarra Yarra Golf Club.
Avani, who had finished runner-up in last week’s Australian Master of the Amateurs, sank birdies on the 15th and 17th holes at the Keysborough layout before a bogey on the 18th pegged her back.
Part of a five-member team sent by Indian Golf Union (IGU), that included three boys and two girls, Avani was the best-placed Indian after the opening round. Another Indian girl Heena Kang was placed joint 60th after submitting a card of seven-over 80. Heena’s disappointing round included two birdies, seven bogeys and a double bogey.
Japan’s Aina Fujimoto set the Keysborough course ablaze with a four-under 69 to take the top spot on the leaderboard. Another Japanese Mamika Shinchi shared the second spot with Jazy Roberts of Australia, Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of Philippines and local girl Amelia Harris with matching totals of three-under 70.
Among the boys, Sandeep Yadav was placed tied 10th after posting one-under 71. In what was a roller-coaster round, Sandeep sank six birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey to end the day inside top-10. Varun Muthappa carded four-over 74 at the Yarra Yarra Golf Club to remain in tied 83rd spot after Round 1. Fifth member of the team Rohit Narwal was placed joint 165th after submitting a card of eight-over 78 at the same venue.
Australian Kai Komulainen took a one-stroke lead after the opening round, carding a six-under 64, soaring on a brilliant albatross on the fifth and six other birdies at Yarra Yarra course. He was keenly followed by a chasing pack led by Mitchell Kale of New Zealand (five-under 65) and Noah Kent of USA (four-under 66).