Diksha Dagar became only the second Indian woman golfer to win on Ladies European Tour after clinching the South African Open, eking out a one-shot victory with a bogey-free final round, in Cape Town on Saturday.
Dagar, 18 years old, was trailing by two shots, but pipped the much-experienced Lee Anne Pace with a three-under final round. She follows Aditi Ashok, who in 2016 became the first Indian to win on the LET. Aditi added two more LET wins and now plays on the LPGA.
This was just Dagar’s fourth professional start on the tour.
She began the week with double bogeys in first three holes. She had one more bogey on the 12th hole and ended the first day with a 76 but scoring was tough on a windy day and she was still inside Top-20.
Thereafter she played the next 42 holes without a blemish and finished at five-under 211, while Lee-Anne (72) ended at four-under 212. She rose to second by the end of the second day and finally won the title on the final day.
Dagar trailed till late into the back nine. She started one behind and Lee-Anne pulled to two clear with a birdie on 11th but bogeyed the 13th to fall back to five-under.
Dagar birdied 15th and 16th and that helped her catch up leader Lee-Anne at five-under. The South African dropped another shot on 17th and Dagar stayed steady and one ahead. As both parred the final hole the Indian won the title.
Earlier, Dagar had made amends for her poor first round with a six-under 66 to move into second place after 36 holes at the Investec South African Women’s Open on Friday.
Dagar, who was tied fifth at NSW Open a week earlier, carded 76 in the first round in difficult conditions, but her six-under took her to two-under. Dagar was two shots behind seasoned Lee-Anne Pace at the tight, tree-lined layout before the final round.