Ma­cLaren, Hil­lier in box seat; Pranavi best In­dian

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - [email protected] times­

Gurugram: Every golfer has a story, but this one de­liv­ers her own sto­ries quite elo­quently.

“Golf is beau­ti­ful in its bru­tal­ity. And that’s worth watch­ing,” Meghan Ma­cLaren writes in her blog. Tthere was noth­ing bru­tal in how she con­ducted her­self on the DLF G&CC course on Day 1 of the $500,000 Hero Women’s In­dian Open, but it was beau­ti­ful how she tamed the beast of the back nine to share a one-stroke lead with Aussie Whit­ney Hil­lier. The 25-year-old English­woman can­not es­cape the engine analo­gies and she def­i­nitely revved it up be­fore the turn as she fin­ished with a 5-un­der 67. The ‘Quarry Nine’ was the morn­ing vi­sion as she started from the tenth hole. “Wak­ing up at 4am is not a nice thing but the first hour you have an empty course in front of you and re­ally pure greens so that was good.”

And yes, it did turn bru­tal. As the mer­cury rose, “it got re­ally bad, burn­ing hot, It just kept get­ting stick­ier and stick­ier out there.”

Lit­tle did Meghan know af­ter two more birdies on the first and sec­ond which took the score to six-un­der, that she was up for a fight on the front nine. Three-putt on the 4h; birdie on the fifth; an­other three-putt on the 6th; an­other birdie on the 7th; missed green on the 9th.

Every day on the course is a jour­ney, and a chance to ex­press. “I was get­ting edgy, but­ter­flies in the stom­ach, but I’ve missed that feel­ing. When you’re in that sit­u­a­tion, it’s where you want to be.”

Meghan, you hear, con­sid­ered ap­ply­ing for Ox­ford or Cam­bridge but the game was more en­tic­ing. While such a de­gree could have sent her on a dif­fer­ent path, the Northants na­tive uses the web world to com­bine her pas­sion for sport and love for writ­ing. “Sport waits for no one... but Stokes,” was her take on Big Ben’s Ashes tale.

Jy­ot­sana’s hole-in-one

If Meghan loves plots and sto­ries, she will like this one about Jy­ot­sana Singh’s ‘for­tu­nate’ hole-in-one. The In­dian tour rookie from Luc­know, tied-28th, holed out on the par-3 16th from 140 yards and had this ex­pla­na­tion later. “My 7-iron slipped from my grasp,” she said, laugh­ing. “I will make sure it hap­pens again to­mor­row.” The top In­dian was am­a­teur Pranavi Urs who fin­ished with a 71 to be tied-10th. Dik­sha Da­gar, Tvesa Ma­lik and Aman­deep Drall were tied-18th on par.

Ladies Euro­pean Tour

Meghan Ma­cLaren in ac­tion on Thurs­day

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