Tvesa Malik stands steady at the finish to win third title on Hero WPGT

Tvesa Malik geared up for the Hero Women’s Indian Open with a thrilling win at the 13th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Friday.

Tvesa Malik, who was trailing by a shot with two holes to play, stood steady when it mattered most as the overnight leader Diksha Dagar crumbled for a bogey-bogey finish.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

Tvesa Malik geared up for the Hero Women’s Indian Open with a thrilling win at the 13th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Friday.

Tvesa, who was trailing by a shot with two holes to play, stood steady when it mattered most as the overnight leader Diksha Dagar crumbled for a bogey-bogey finish. Tvesa was three-over after the 14th hole but she didn’t make any mistakes over the last four crucial holes. She birdied the par-3 16th and parred the 15th, 17th and 18th to finish at two-over 74 on the final day to take her total to one-over 217.

The win puts Tvesa in a perfect frame of mind ahead of the Hero Women’s Indian Open to be held at the same venue, the Black Knight Gary Player course at the DLF Golf and Country Club from October 3 to 6. It was Tvesa’s third win of the season after previous wins in the third leg at Ahmedabad’s Kensville Golf and Country Club and the eighth leg in Bengaluru’s Prestige Golfshire.

She joins Ridhima as the only other three-time winner this year. Tvesa, who has been dividing her time between the Indian domestic Tour and international events, has won three titles in five starts on the Hero WPG Tour.

Diksha, who had a disastrous start with a bogey-double bogey-bogey in her first three holes, turned in four-over 40 for the front nine. However, she managed to claw her way back into contention with birdies on 11th and 16th.

She still led the field at even par with two holes to play. That is when she made the big errors to bogey last two holes, allowing playing partner Tvesa to sneak ahead.

Ridhima Dilawari produced a fine final round as she birdied three times on the front nine to turn in two-under 34. Then she bogeyed 10th, birdied 11th and again bogeyed 14th, only to recover with another birdie on 15th.

She was unable to find any more birdies on the tough three-hole final stretch. She parred the last three holes for the day’s second best card of two-under 70 and a two-over 218 which made her the clubhouse leader.

The final group comprised Tvesa Malik, Diksha Dagar and Gaurika Bishnoi, who had earlier put herself out of contention with a four-over 40 on the front nine.

As the final group played on the last fairway, Ridhima waited to see the drama unfold. She needed both Diksha and Tvesa to bogey the final hole to get into a play-off.

Diksha did drop the bogey to slip to two-over, but Tvesa parred the final hole to keep her nose ahead at one-over and claimed her third title.

Gaurika Bishnoi (75) ended fourth, three shots behind Ridhima and Diksha, who were Tied-second. Neha Tripathi (75) was fifth, while Vani Kapoor (74) was sixth. Siddhi Kapoor (69) had the day’s best card with four birdies and just one bogey on the first. Sisters Gurjot Badwal (76) and Gursimar Badwal (79) tied for eighth and amateur Jahnavi Bakshi (73) and winner of 12th Leg Gauri Karhade (78) were Tied-10th.

Gaurika Bishnoi stayed on top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Neha Tripathi is still second and Amandeep Drall is third. Ridhima Dilawari is fourth and Gursimar Badwal fifth.