Seher Atwal emerged victorious yet again at the Poona Club Golf Course, but not before surviving a stressful final round in the opening leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2023.
She carded a none-too-happy five-over 77 but it was sufficient for a win. This was her third win in three years.
Seher, who led by two after 36 holes, had three bogeys against one birdie in the first six holes.
She steadied herself with eight pars in a row and seemed well placed to win the title despite Ridhima Dilawari’s birdies on the 13th and 14th. Then came a scare for Seher, who bogeyed the 15th, 16th and 17th and that left her just one ahead of Ridhima.
Ridhima could have forced a play-off with a birdie but failed to get it as Seher played out for a safe par on the Par-5 18th.
Despite the tension, it was a great start to the New Year for Seher, who hopes to play a lot more on the Ladies European Tour this year beginning with the Magical Kenya Open early next month. The win also meant an early lead in the Hero Order of Merit, where she was second in 2022.
Ridhima (73), who had five birdies, was second. She also gave away two doubles and three other bogeys in her round.
Gauri Karhade (72) had the day’s best score but ended third at 10-over 223 while Neha Tripathi (74) was fourth at 224. Amateur Vidhatri Urs (74) and Sneha Singh (74) were tied for fifth, while another amateur Lavanya Jadon (76) was seventh.
Amateur Nishna Patel (74) and Saaniya Sharma (75) were tied for eighth and Khushi Khanijau (76) completed the top 10.
The early leaders in the week, Nayanika Sanga (78) and Shagun Narain (87) had forgettable final rounds and finished tied for 11th.
The second leg of the Tour will take place at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) from January 18 with the practice round scheduled a day earlier.