Diksha Dagar finished a creditable third before Aline Krauter added another chapter to the tale of a ‘rookie’ winning the 400,000 USD (Rs 3.33 crore) Hero Women’s Indian Open golf title at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram on Sunday.
Commencing the final round with a two-shot lead on Sunday, the 23-year-old German shot a third successive round of four-under 68 for a winning tally 15-under 273 that gave her a five-stroke triumph over Sweden’s Sara Kjellker.
During the round where Krauter never trailed, her lead shrunk to one after a bogey on the fourth hole and rose to a high of seven shots between 14 and 16 holes. The eventual five-hole margin came about after Kjellker birdied the 17th hole and Krauter three-putted for a bogey on the final hole.
Krauter’s maiden title on the Ladies European Tour earned her 60,000 USD (Rs 49.90 lakh) and a two-year exemption from qualifying for the Tour events. Kjeller collected 36,000 USD (Rs 29.94 lakh).
Reflecting on the win, Krauter said, “The first win is very special and I was actually talking to the 2017 winner Camille (Chevalier) earlier this week and she said, ‘Rookies seem to like this course. And she asked “Who’s going to be the rookie this week and I raised my hand. So here I am as a ‘rookie’ winning this event. We did talk about this earlier this week and it’s obviously super special that it happened and it worked out this way.”
Diksha may have fallen short of running the eventual champion close but rose in the LET Order of Merit to the second spot after her seventh top-10 finish of the year,
Diksha started with a bogey but improved her chances of a strong finish with an eventful run between the fourth and the ninth holes. During this journey, Diksha fired five birdies against a lone bogey to take the turn at a 33. However, on the back nine, Diksha could only manage a birdie and two bogeys for a 37. With Krauter looking increasingly steady 0in the leaders’ group, Diksha stayed in the tied second spot for sometime before falling back following her bogey on the 14th hole.
“I am happy with the way I finished,” said Diksha and continued, “I would like to stay in the present. I am going to continue my game and I am going to look out and work on my weaknesses. I am also looking to improve my diet and work on my skills.”
Bengaluru-based amateur Avani Prashanth was the second-best Indian on view as she carded her week’s best card of 69 to share the fifth spot. Gaurika Bishnoi became the third Indian in the top-10 following a 71 for the ninth spot.
Vani Kapoor, after two days of staying in the top-three, had another free fall as she carded a 78 and shared the 16th spot with Amandeep Drall and two others.
Scores, with prize-money (Indians unless stated)
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