India Today Headline

Zara Anand of India shares the lead in the Queen Sirikit Cup

<p>The 44th Queen Sirikit Cup at the Par-72 Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch, New Zealand, began with India’s Zara Anand sharing the lead.</p>
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<p>Zara shot 73 to share the lead with Aina Fujimoto of Japan and Chun-Wei Wu of China Taipei, the current Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific champion.</p>
<p>Zara joined the Indian Golf Union when 2023 champion Avani Prashanth, who is playing in the US, withdrew.</p>
<p>The players had to deal with icy conditions in the morning, and frost caused a temporary delay in play. It was quite difficult to score, with no player over 73.</p>
<p>Avani Prashanth made history last year when he won the Queen Sirikit Cup in Manila, becoming the first Indian to do so.</p>
<p>The four players who carded 74 apiece—Korean Shihyun Kim, Chinese Taipei’s Ping-Hua Hsieh, Kiwi Eunseo Choi, and Australian Sarah Hammett—are all one shot behind the three leaders.</p>
<p>Zara was first, although her fellow countrymen Vidhatri Urs (79) was T-20th and Heena Kang (85) was T-32. The conditions were frigid from the start, and ice caused the play to be postponed for thirty minutes.</p>
<p>China Taipei led with a three-over-total for two top scores from a team of three, while India finished sixth in the team rankings.</p>
<p>They were three strokes ahead of both the pre-tournament favorites, Korea, and the host country, New Zealand.</p>
<p>Zara, who finished third in the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour event and finished runner-up in the All India Ladies Amateur, missed a stroke on the Par-3 fourth hole but made up for it with a birdie on the Par-3 ninth.</p>
<p>Despite being pushed back by consecutive bogeys on the back nine, she recovered one stroke by making a birdie on the Par-4 last hole, the 18th, to finish at 73.</p>

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