The country’s top amateur golfer Anika Varma finished a creditable fifth in the Hero Women’s Indian Open with a 3-under par aggregate of 285 and a final day card of two-under 70 at Gurugram on Sunday.
The 15-year-old Anika was one shot ahead of best-placed home professional Tvesa Malik, who was tied sixth at one-under 287.
“I was pretty nervous in the beginning but as soon as I hit my first tee shot I felt fine. I had a good group (with Sweden’s Emma Nilsson and Manon De Roey of Belgium) today and I enjoyed playing with them. That helped me play well too,” Anika said.
“I was pretty consistent today, just had one double (bogey) on the 16th. Before that, I was doing pretty good and I didn’t miss a single regulation before the 16th hole, I think only that one and the 18th, which was the highlight of my day.”
Last year, Tvesa had finished as the best home golfer at tied 13th and Sunday’s result was significant progress for the LET rookie as well.
“I think it was a little bit more of a struggle but I am happy with my overall performance for the week. I think I am happy with my game and the way I handled the pressure on the course, so I’m quite pleased overall,” said Tvesa.
“I missed a lot of putts so that was not a great part of my game. On the 18th hole, I definitely wasn’t expecting that to happen at all (chip-in from off the green) so I’m glad I could make a birdie from there.”
Christine Wolf of Austria buried the ghosts of the past with a bogey-free final round to clinch her maiden Ladies European Tour title.
The HWIO and the DLF Golf and Country Club is becoming a happy hunting ground for first-time winners. Following Welsh veteran Becky Morgan’s breakthrough win after 19 long years on the Ladies European Tour in 2018, it was the 30-year-old Austrian Wolf’s turn as she grabbed her first title after six years on the Tour.
Wolf, who received the trophy from Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal, showed no nervousness on the final day as she delivered a commanding bogey-free final round of 69 to total 11-under 277 and win with rounds of 73, 68, 67 and 69.
She finished three shots ahead of Marianne Skarpnord (70 and eight-under) and four ahead of MacLaren (72 and seven-under). Whitney Hillier, the halfway co-leader, shot 72 and was sole fourth at six-under.
Last year, Wolf fumbled twice. First on the third day while being well ahead and on the final day, when she was tied for the lead. She shot a quadruple bogey on the third day and a double bogey on the final day and finished Tied-second allowing Morgan to grab the title. This time, there was to be no such error.
“I’m super happy obviously with this first LET win, but also that I did it here,” said a beaming Wolf.
“Everyone knew of last year’s drama coming into the week here so to win by three shots was very nice. But you can’t get ahead of yourself in golf and I was obviously a little nervous.”
Among other Indians, Astha Madan (70 and 2-over 290) was Tied-19th, Vani Kapoor (75 and 3-over 291) was T-21st, Diksha Dagar (74 and 7-over 295) was Tied-32nd, Amandeep Drall (78 and 9-over 297) was T-37th, amateur Pranavi Urs (75 and 11-over 299) and Gaurika Bishnoi (77 and 11-over 299) were Tied-47th.
Late double bogey pushes Sandhu to second
Indian golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu had to be satisfied with a Tied-second place after he blew his chances with a late double bogey in the final round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters at Tamsui, Chinese Taipei on Sunday.
Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai, who began the day one shot behind the leaders – Ajeetesh Sandhu of India and Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena – held his nerve in a tight finish with an even par back nine to card 70 and held out for his career’s biggest prize cheque.
For Suradit, it was a breakthrough on the Asian Tour where he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2015.
Suradit carded 70, while Sandhu and Tabuena shot 72 each.
Adilson Da Silva fired 68 to jump to Tied-second. He was one shot clear of Sandhu, Tabuena and Adilson Da Silva (68).
Among others, Rashid Khan shot the best round on Sunday with a 67 and jumped up to Tied-fifth, while Viraj Madappa was unable to follow up on his 65 from Saturday and ballooned to 76 to lie Tied-ninth as three Indians figured in Top-10.
Khalin Joshi (72) was Tied-19th, S Chikkarangappa (78) fell to Tied-37th and Chiragh Kumar (73) was Tied-40th.
Sandhu said, “It was a tough day so it was really nice to end it with that birdie on 18. I left a few shots out there and that really cost me the tournament.
“I made two wrong decisions on 16 and that led to a double bogey and you cannot afford to do that especially when you’re trying to close out the tournament. But I’m happy with how I played and where my game is heading and I can only look forward to the rest of season.”
Sandhu did not get his putts to fall and turned in even par with one birdie and one bogey and then he added a second birdie on 13th to get to 10-under.
But a costly double on 16th ended his hopes and the best he could get was Tied-second following an 18th hole birdie.
Da Silva made a charge with a hat-trick of birdies on back nine, but he had too much of a deficit to cover up from the first three days. Tabuena blew his chances with bogeys on the last two holes.
Suradit started well with a birdie on his third hole but gave two shots back with a double-bogey on the next hole. The Thai was quick to make amends when he charged to the turn with three birdies in his next four holes.
But after making another birdie on 13, he dropped a shot on 14 before making four straight pars to sign off with a four-day total of 10-under-par 278.
The Thai was left to wait for close to 30 minutes where he watched the final group in action from the sidelines.
Tabuena had the best chance to force a play-off with Suradit on 18 but his approach landed in the bunker from where he could not get his ball onto the green, resulting in a bogey, which also confirmed Suradit’s entry into the winner’s circle for the first time.