Mumbai, Feb 20 (IANS) Veteran golfer Smriti Mehra snatched the lead after the second round of the third leg of Hero Women's Professional Golf Tour at the Willingdon Sports Club here Thursday.
Smriti, who was tied third after the first day's play, returned with the only under par score of the day at one under 64, finishing Round 2 with a total of 128.
Sharmila Nicollet, who returned with a not so impressive two over 67 and a total of 130, retained her second position while overnight leader Pallavi Jain slipped to third with a score of four over 69 and a total of 131.
Smriti got off to a great start as she was three under par at the end of the front nine with five birdies on the second, third, fourth, seventh and eight holes and a pair of bogeys on fifth and sixth.
However, the back nine proved not so fruitful as she had a double bogey on the 14th and two bogeys on 13th and 15th with just a couple of birdies on 10th and 12th as compared to five in the front nine. She has a two shot lead over second placed Sharmila, who is determined to come back strongly.
The two stars will fight it out on the final day Friday as both chase their first title of the season.
Sharmila had an ordinary outing, managing to card just two birdies on the ninth and 11th holes and a double bogey on the fifth along with bogeys on the fourth and 18th holes.
Pallavi also had a disappointing second round as she could card a solitary birdie on the sixth and five bogeys on the first, 11th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes.
Vani Kapoor, who has had a remarkable season so far, faltered Thursday as she returned with a three over 68 and a total of 132 and is fourth after Round 2.
Neha Tripathi (68), Vaishavi Sinha (70) and Ankita Tiwana (70) are tied fifth with identical scores of 137. Vandana Agarwal with a total of 138 is eight and Meghna Bal is ninth with a total of 141.
The Rs.5 lakh event is the third in the series of 14 this year.