Ridhima Dilawari lifted her fourth title of the season when she emerged winner at the 14th leg of the Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Noida Golf Course on Friday.
Dilawari carded a one-over 73 after a pair of bogeys towards the end but still won by six shots ahead of Tvesa Malik and Amadeep Drall, who were tied second.
Dilawari, who totalled three-under 213, is now the top winner this season while Malik has three wins. Malik (70) was the only player to shoot under par in the final round and tied with Drall (73) for second place at 219.
Diksha Dagar, who shot 78 on second day, carded 73 on the final day to finish fourth at 220 and Gaurika Bishnoi ended a none-too-happy week with a 75 and was fifth at 223.
Astha Madan (73) and Saaniya Sharma (76) were sixth and seventh respectively, while Ananya Datar (75) and Smriti Mehra (81) were Tied-eighth at 234. Ishvari Prasanna (78) and Siddhi Kapoor (79) were Tied-tenth at 235.
Starting with a huge six-shot lead, Dilawari was very steady through the front nine with eight pars followed by a birdie on ninth. A birdie on 11th meant she was two-under for the day. Her first bogey of the day came on 12th, which was followed by four pars and finally two bogeys.
Malik, nine behind at the start, bogeyed third and seventh before back-to-back birdies ensured she was even for the front nine. A birdie on 13th and another on 18th meant she finished at 2 under 70. \Drall bogeyed the Par-3 16th and Par-4 18th and fell into a tie for second.
Dagar parred the first 12 holes before dropping shots on 13th and 15th. Her solitary birdie of the day came on the Par-3 16th.
Bishnoi stayed on top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Drall and Dilawari moved up one place each to become second and third. Neha Tripathi, second at the start of the week, slipped to fourth after finishing 15th.
Sandhu, Chawrasia Tied-3rd at Thailand Open
Ajeetesh Sandhu and SSP Chawrasia carded identical four-under 67 each to be Tied-third at the halfway stage of the Thailand Open on Friday.
They were one shot off the leaders – Thai pro Poom Pattaropong (65) and Thai amateur Natttaphat Harnchokchaiskul (70) who were eight-under 134.
Sandhu and Chawrasia were joined at seven-under by another Thai, Pro Meesawat (67) and Australian Andrew Martin (68).
Though Sandhu and Chawrasia were the best Indians on the leaderboard, the star performance came from Shiv Kapur, who after his disappointing 74 on first day carded his season-best round of eight-under 63 to rocket up to Tied-10th at five-under 137. His blistering 63 was a new course record on the par-71 set-up.
Other Indians making the cut were S Chikkarangappa (70-70) in Tied-31st place, Viraj Madappa (70-71) in Tied-41st, while Jyoti Randhawa (71-72), Khalin Joshi (69-74) and Aadil Bedi (66-77) made the cut on the line in Tied-63rd place.
The halfway cut was set at one-over par 143 with 78 players, included three amateurs, progressing into the weekend rounds.
Joshi bidding to create history
Khalin Joshi will be bidding to become the first player to successfully defend his title when the ninth edition of the Panasonic Open India starts next week.
The USD 400,000 full field Asian Tour event will be played at the Classic Golf and Country Club for the first time from November 14-17.
The tournament welcomes players from over 16 countries, making it a truly international event.
No Panasonic Open India champion has ever achieved the feat of defending their title since the tournament made its debut in 2011 but Joshi is hoping to be the first to do that.
“It’s going to be exciting defending my first Asian Tour title. I like the golf course and my game is getting more positive and I’m confident,” said Joshi.
“The win is still very fresh on my mind. I putted and drove the ball really well that week. There are positive signs now as I’m getting those similar feelings like last year. I just got to just block out unnecessary thoughts like I’m the defending champion and just play my own game.”
Last year, Joshi produced a dramatic finish when he fired four birdies in his closing five holes to sign for a four-under-par 68 and clinch his maiden Asian Tour title by one shot over Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman.
“The Classic Golf and Country Club is a lovely course and it’s not very long. But it demands good driving and good putting as well. If you can put the ball on the fairway and putt well, you’re going to be up there (leaderboard) for sure.”
As the 2019 Asian Tour season nears its climax, the Indian hopes to end his year on a high note, having struggled to reach the heights of 2018. His best finish this season was only a tied-19th result in Chinese Taipei last month.
“I have not enjoyed a great season so far, but I hope to play well every week and put myself in a good position so that I can put myself in a winning situation again,” said Joshi.
The Panasonic Open India will also kick off the third edition of the Asian Tour’s 2019/20 Panasonic Swing, which is a ranking based on an aggregate points race that spans five events with the final top-three players chasing a share of a lucrative bonus pool.