Here are the major developments from the world of sports on August 26 -
Sensational Avani wins LET Access Tour event in Sweden
Amateur golfer Avani Prashanth became the third Indian woman to triumph in Europe this year as she produced a stunning back-nine to win the Ashsell Final.
Avani came up with four birdies and an eagle in the last seven holes to win on the Ladies European Tour’s Access Series (LETAS) on Friday.
It is the first by an Indian woman, though Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar have won the main Ladies European Tour earlier this season.
The 16-year-old Avani, who shot 72-71 in the first two rounds, was tied-ninth after 36 holes.
In the final round, she had a rough start with bogeys on the first and fourth holes. She repaired that damage with birdies on the fifth and eighth. She was even for the round after 11 holes and a top-10 finish was on very much on the cards.
She then exploded with a bunch of birdies and an eagle on the back nine.
Avani gained momentum to get two consecutive birdies on holes 12 and 13 followed by an eagle on the 14th to put herself in the lead. One more birdie on the 17th was where the top Indian amateur clinched the title.
“It’s surreal winning this week, after my rocky start to finish five-under-par is great, and this is my first professional win on international soil,” Avani said.
“The wind completely switched on us, which really made the first four holes super long and tough to play. Whilst the first four played long, a good number played shorter.” “So, after nine, I came back to par and then saw the wind was down in the back nine, and then I really took advantage from there on.” Avani won the Queen Sirikit Cup in Manila earlier this year and now has her eyes set on being the youngest golfer ever to represent India at the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month.
“In terms of European competition, the Big Green Egg Open in Amsterdam on the Ladies European Tour is the next one. I’m planning on playing at Q school in December,” she said.
India’s Asmitha Sathish (74-76) and Vidhatri Urs (80-74) had earlier missed the cut.
Two Swedish amateurs, Matilda Bjorkman and Isabell Elkstrom finished tied for second on five-under-par.
Switzerland’s Elena Moosmann and another amateur Hanna Nilsson of Sweden were tied for fourth on four-under-par.
Swiss amateur Caroline Sturdza came in solo sixth on three-under-par after a fabulous round of 68, whilst another Swiss amateur Natalie Armbruester finished tied seventh alongside Germany’s Sarina Schmidt and England’s Emily Price.
-Press Trust of India
Bhullar rises to T-11, Lahiri, Ahlawat drop to T-15
Gaganjeet Bhullar, India’s most successful player on the Asian Tour, turned in a super round of 5-under 67 which took him to T-11 on the second day of the St Andrews Bay Championship.
With rounds of of 69-67, Bhullar is 8-under at the halfway stage of the sixth International Series event of the season on the Asian Tour.
Anirban Lahiri (66-71) suffered an early double bogey but made amends and then finished birdie-birdie on his closing two holes for a round of 1-under 71.
At 7-under, he has dropped to T-15 from tied first.
Another first round leader, Veer Ahlawat (66-71) also dropped to T-15 alongside Lahiri.
Spaniard David Puig, 21, who turned pro last September, put himself in the perfect position to try and win his first title as a professional when he opened up a three-shot lead at the halfway point.
Puig shot a spectacular eight-under-par 64, the lowest round of the week so far, to reach 14-under, with South African Jaco Ahlers (66-67) in second place, following a 67.
Of the 14 Indians participating, eight made the cut.
Ajeetesh Sandhu (70-68) played a bogey-free 68 and moved to T-21, while SSP Chawrasia (69-71) and Rahil Gangjee (70-70) were T-39 with Viraj Madappa (67-73), who had two bogeys and one double in his last five holes between the 14th and the 18th.
The only other Indian to make the cut was Rashid Khan (70-71) at T-57.
The six Indians missing the cut were S Chikkarangappa (71-71), Honey Baisoya (73-69), Karandeep Kochhar (77-70), Jyoti Randhawa (75-73), Khalin Joshi (74-74) and Kartik Sharma (76-75).
Australians Matt Jones (65) and Andrew Dodt (68), Eugenio Chacarra (66) from Spain, England’s James Wilson (66), American Micah Lauren Shin (67), Korean Seungtaek Lee (67) and Chile’s Mito Pereira (68) are in a tie for third, four behind Puig.
Players took advantage of the bright and calm conditions at Fairmont St Andrews, where the Torrance Course is being used, to shoot low scores.
Puig once again excelled, making nine birdies, to go with the 10 he made on day. Six of those birdies came on the back nine, including the last four.
AITA men’s tennis tournament: Top seed Oges beats Daksh
Top seed Oges Theyjo beat Daksh Prasad 7-6(5), 6-3 in the Rs.100,000 AITA men’s tennis tournament at the Harvest Academy, Jassowal, on Friday.
$25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament: India’s Rishab beats Japan’s Kazuki
Sixth seed Rishab Agarwal beat Kazuki Nishiwaki of Japan 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Tainan, Chinese Taipei, on Saturday.
In the final, Rishab will play fifth seed Matyas Fuele of Hungary who ousted top seed Ergi Kirkin of Turkey in three sets.
JK Tyre National Racing: Tijil, Arya share honours on day one
Tijil Rao (Bengaluru) and Arya Singh (Kolkata) shared a race win each in the premier Formula LGB4 class in the season’s opening round of the 26th JK Tyre National Racing Championship at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
Both drivers, representing Dark Don Racing, displayed their daredevil skills right through. It was wheel-to-wheel racing, and the lead kept changing hands in the opening race. But Tijil, after fighting hard for the most part, chose the right moment in the final lap to overtake his teammate Arya for the top spot on the podium in the first race.
Later in the day, the duo continued their battle for supremacy, and, this time around, Arya got the better of Tijil. It could have been a clean sweep for Dark Don Racing, as in the first race, had not the safety car visited the track. However, both races had the spectators on the edge of their seats.
“It was very close, and with the safety car coming in, the last lap made it all the more interesting. “It was hard racing, but it’s okay if I had not completed a double. I am happy that Arya won,” said Tijil.
“I am pleased with the race result. The pace was there, and before the safety car’s arrival, it was pretty much done and dusted. In the end, it was a good race, and that’s what we all want,” said Arya after clinching the second.
Arjun Nair scored a grand double winning both races of the JK Tyre Novice Cup.
The results (provisional, day one)
MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup: Indian Oil Corp overcomes Indian Navy 4-2
Comprising three former Olympians and a host of former Internationals, a star-studded Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) overcame a spirited fightback from Indian Navy to prevail 4-2 in a Group-A match of the 94th MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup All-India hockey tournament here on Saturday.
Earlier, in another Pool-A contest, Hockey Karnataka put it across Central Secretariat 2-1 while Punjab National Bank (PNB) edged out Indian Army by the same margin in a Group-B tie.
Navy appeared a confident and coordinated unit and matched the defending champion in attack and defense. Every time, IOC went ahead it came back strongly to neutralise the scores.
At 2-2, IOC showed why it’s a champion side. In a clever penalty corner move, Gurjinder Singh, instead of going for a direct shot, passed it to Affan Yousuf, who placed himself on the right side of the keeper. Without batting an eyelid, the striker flicked it home, a move that flummoxed keeper Sanjay.
The Navy continued to put the IOC defense under immense pressure making several raids. IOC, however, had the last laugh through Roshan Minz, a former International when he pushed one from close range in a quick counterattack from IOC.
Central Secretariat suffered its second successive defeat when it lost to Hockey Karnataka in a drab match that saw both teams many gilt-edged chances. Similarly, PNB, looking a pale shadow of its former self, fluffed many chances, but managed to script a victory over Army.
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