Cuningham takes one-stroke lead | other | Hindustan Times
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Cuningham takes one-stroke lead

A pragmatist, Tandi Cuningham prefers not to live on hope. She rather stays rooted in the present. No sooner had she shot a 68 to take a single stroke lead in the Hero Honda Women's Indian Open, talk surfaced of how her modus operandi pointed towards another title.

other Updated: Nov 12, 2010 23:17 IST
Robin Bose

A pragmatist, Tandi Cuningham prefers not to live on hope. She rather stays rooted in the present. No sooner had she shot a 68 to take a single stroke lead in the Hero Honda Women's Indian Open, talk surfaced of how her modus operandi pointed towards another title.

Twice, Tandi surged ahead after the penultimate round and has held on. The wins at the South African Open (on her domestic tour) last year and SAS Masters (feeder tour of the Ladies European Tour) are the watermarks, yet she chose to downplay murmurs of expectation coming into play. “A similar result would be fitting, it would be inappropriate to talk about expecting a similar result,” she said.

Here at the DLF Golf & Country Club sans the support of her coach-husband-caddie, Paul, she braved the pangs of solitude to set course towards the biggest win of a fledgling career.

Patience and resilience were the mantras for Friday, and Tandi, overnight joint 12th, came away successful. Careful not to “lose her concentration in the heat”, the petite blonde was even par till the 5th, which meant things were according to plan. Alive to the prospect of a “couple of putts not going in”, Tandi birdied the 6th and 7th and the bonus meant she was well and truly on her way. The routine on the back nine was the same --- the urge to be levelheaded being punctuated briefly by birdies on the 15th and 18th.

Expectedly, the slim lead over Veronica Zorzi of Italy and France's Cassandra Kirkland was not a source of excitement. “The focus will be on the short routine and a lookout for the leaderboard is ruled out,” said Tandi. The cut was applied at eight-over 152, which meant three Indians --- Sharmila Nicollet, Tanya Wadhwa and Vaishavi Sinha, made the grade.

Overnight leader Laura Davies made no excuses about her slip to T6. Things could have been different but a lip-out on the opener wasn't of help. “I neither hit the ball close nor holed the putts,” she said after returning 78.