Ridhima Dilawari managed to held her nerves in the closing stages of the 15th and final leg of the Women’s Pro Golf Tour to win her fifth title of the season in Kolkata on Friday.
Ridhima, who trailed Diksha Dagar by three shots after 36 holes, had three birdies between 12th and 15th and then parred the rest for a round of two-under 70.
Ridhima totalled one-under 215 as Dagar (74) finished second at the Royal Calcutta Golf Course. The win took Ridhima to the second place on the Hero Women’s Order of Merit at the end of the season.
The Order of Merit was won by Gaurika Bishnoi, who topped the honours despite missing the final event on medical grounds.
Ridhima won Rs 11,09,433 while Gaurika won Rs.11,84,100 and Amandeep was third with Rs.10,55,933. They were the only ones to cross the Rs.10 lakh mark for the year.
Dagar, who had an error-filled day, actually started with birdies on first and fourth. She then faltered with a double bogey on Par-4 seventh and another bogey on ninth. At that stage Diksha was still two shots ahead of Ridhima, who turned in even par as against Diksha’s one-over.
On the back nine, the duo playing together bogeyed the 10th. Ridhima birdied the 11th to reduce the lead to one.
The drama continued as both parred 12th and 13th and then both birdied Par-4 14th and Par-5 15th. Two more pars each brought them to the 18th tee, where Diksha held a one-shot lead.
On the final hole, Diksha hit out of bounds on the left side, while Ridhima stayed calm and parred out. The second double bogey of the final day saw Dagar drop from one ahead to one behind and handed Ridhima a fifth title in 2019.
Ridhima’s whopping fifth success this season is the best since Vani Kapoor registered seven wins in 2016.
Amateur Pranavi Urs shot three-over 75 and finished in a tie for third with Vani Kapoor (76), while Tvesa Malik (74) was fifth and Amandeep Drall (78) slipped to sixth at 12-over 228.
Astha Madan (70) had four birdies against two bogeys for the day’s best card but following 79-80 on the first two days, she was only tied seventh with Khushi Khanijau (74).
Gauri Karhade (76), who had one win in her rookie season, was ninth and Thailand’s P Supakchaya (80) was tenth.
As Gaurika, Ridhima and Amandeep took the top three places on the Order of Merit, Neha Tripathi, Gursimar Badwal and Tvesa Malik took the fourth to sixth places at the end of the season.
Khalin Joshi and Co shine at Panasonic Open
India’s Khalin Joshi raised his hopes of becoming the first player to defend the Panasonic Open India crown when he shot a first round of five-under-67 to join eight other Indians in tied fifth place.
Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who had fired an eight-under-64 on Thursday to take the clubhouse lead, ended up as the round one leader as no one could catch up with his score on day two.
Myanmar’s Ye Htet Aung, Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris and Indonesia’s Danny Masrin occupy joint second place with rounds of six-under-66.
Khalin Joshi started well on Friday with birdies on three of his first four holes which included a chip-in on the third and a brilliant approach from 100 yards on the fourth that set up a tap-in. Khalin then stumbled with a couple of bogeys midway through his round before regaining control with birdies on his last two holes.
The other Indians bunched in tied fifth included Arjun Prasad, Shiv Kapur, M Dharma and Shankar Das, all of whom shot 67s on Thursday as well as Rashid Khan, Karandeep Kochhar, Kshitij Naveed Kaul and Vikrant Chopra, the ones who fired 67s on Friday.
Rashid Khan, who has already sealed his card for the Asian Tour next year, played solid and missed just one green today. Rashid was four-under through nine holes and had a good chance of going low but then had his only bad hole of the day on the second, where he misjudged the wind and landed his tee shot in the bunker which resulted in his only bogey of the day.
Karandeep Kochhar, like Rashid, made six birdies and a bogey on Friday. Kochhar, the man with a tied second finish at the Panasonic Open India 2017, created lot of chances for himself with a high percentage of fairways found and greens in regulation. Karandeep was however disappointed to miss birdies from within 10 feet on four occasions.
Kshitij Naveed Kaul’s bogey-free effort and Vikrant Chopra’s six birdies and a bogey also placed them tied fifth. Aman Raj and Sanjay Kumar are tied 16th with scores of four-under-68.
In view of the weather conditions, the Panasonic Open India has been reduced to a 54-hole event.