Ahmedabad, Jan 18 (PTI) Vani Kapoor made a fine start to the 2018 season, clinching a two-shot win in the first leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here. Also Read - Bhullar finishes 27th in Abu Dhabi

She was aided by a flawless back nine after being three- over for the front stretch at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens. Also Read - Asiad teammates Diksha, Sifat among pro debutants to feature in Hero WGPT season-opener

Vani, who won four titles in six starts in 2017, now has five wins in seven starts. She carded an even par 72 in the final round to finish 5-over 221 and edge out Saaniya Sharma by two shots. Also Read - Fine start for Aditi as she closes with 66, finishes eighth in Abu Dhabi

Saaniya shot one-over 73 which included a costly double bogey on par-5 14th hole. She also had a bogey earlier on 11th hole.

Gursimar Badwal finished third in a tie with Tvesa Malik as both shot 73 each and also finished on the same total of 226.

Vani, who will also spend time on the Ladies European Tour later in year, started the final day one shot ahead of Neha Tripathi and opened bogey-bogey.

She, however, steadied herself and dropped only one more shot on the front nine on eighth.

Birdies on 12th, 14th and 18th ensured she finished strongly with a 3-under 33 on the back nine. Her aggregate of 221 gave her a two-shot win.

Saaniya’s game was patchy with birdies following bogeys or vice-versa. She also double bogeyed par-5 14th. A birdie on 16th came too late as she fell back and finished second.

Gursimar Badwal had contrasting nines. She had three birdies on front nine and was in contention. However, four bogeys and a closing double bogey came in the way of a win.

She did have an eagle on par-5 14th but it was not enough.

Neha Tripathi had a bad patch with two doubles and a bogey in between fifth and seventh ruined her title hopes as she carded 78 and slipped to sixth.

Vani picked up a cheque of Rs. 1,26,000 while Saaniya earned Rs. 1,02,000.

Smriti Mehra (76) was fifth with a total of 227 while Neha Tripathi fell to sixth with a round of 78 and a total of 228. Afshan Fatima (78) was seventh at 234. Mehar Atwal (75) and Amandeep Drall (79) tied for eighth place.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.