Indian sports news wrap, May 18

Catch the major updates and results from Indian sports on May 18.

Published : May 18, 2023 14:18 IST , CHENNAI - 7 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Aditi Ashok of India during the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club.
FILE PHOTO: Aditi Ashok of India during the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club. | Photo Credit: Getty Images via AFP

FILE PHOTO: Aditi Ashok of India during the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club. | Photo Credit: Getty Images via AFP


Aditi to battle LPGA stars in the LET event in Florida

Aditi Ashok, who has had top-5 finishes in her last four starts on the Ladies European Tour, will tee up at The Aramco Team Series – Florida this week.

The USD 1 million event, which is part of the LET schedule, will also feature world number two Lydia Ko, American major winner Lexi Thompson, and six-time LPGA winner Jessica Korda.

Aditi, who has risen to Top-50 in the world, started her excellent run on the LET with a fourth-place finish at the Women’s Indian Open last October. Since then, she won in Kenya, finished third in Morocco and was second at the Saudi International.

Aditi, who became the first Indian to win on the LET in her home Open, the Women’s Indian Open in 2016, also leads the LET’s Race to Costa Del Sol rankings.

After missing three cuts in a row on LPGA in March-April, Aditi lost in a playoff at the JM Eagle Championships in Los Angeles and was T-5 at the Cognizant Founders Cup. She is now 18th on the Race to CME Globe, the rankings for the LPGA.

Aditi will be accompanied by three other Indians in the field, Diksha Dagar, a gold medallist at Deaflympics and the only other Indian apart from Aditi to have won on the LET, Amandeep Drall, runner-up at the HWIO 2022 and Vani Kapoor.

Past ANA Inspiration major champion Pernilla Lindberg, Sweden’s Linn Grant, the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol winner, who won last week at Jabra Ladies Open and another Swede, Johanna Gustavsson, who was fourth last week, will also be seen in action.

Multiple tour winners Anne Van Dam, Marianne Skarpnord, Stephanie Kyriacou, Pia Babnik, Alison Lee, Emily Pedersen, Carlota Ciganda, Lindsey Weaver Wright, Olivia Cowan, Chiara Noja, and the previous winner of the Aramco Team Series – Singapore Pauline Roussin complete what is set to be a strong field.

France’s Celine Herbin and England’s Hayley Davis both had good finishes at last week’s Jabra Ladies Open to secure their spot in this week’s tournament.

This is the eighth event in the 2023 Ladies European Tour (LET) season. The Aramco Team Series is being hosted at Trump International in West Palm Beach. It is the second of the five Team events across 2023, and this week will see a field of 108 professionals from 25 nations tee it up in the Sunshine State.

The format will have two competitions happening side by side – the 54-hole Individual stroke play alongside the 36-hole Team event.

Each Team will consist of three professionals and one amateur with the Team captains decided on the basis of Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.


Lahiri returns to Major scene after long break

Anirban Lahiri of India watches his shot from the fourth tee during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
Anirban Lahiri of India watches his shot from the fourth tee during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. | Photo Credit: Getty Images via AFP

Anirban Lahiri of India watches his shot from the fourth tee during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. | Photo Credit: Getty Images via AFP

Indian ace Anirban Lahiri will return to Major action after a full year as he tees up at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club this week.

The 35-year-old golfer, who was tied for fitth at the same event in 2015, has since not been able to replicate that performance.

It will be Lahiri’s 18th Major, the most by an Indian, but only the third since he missed the cut at the 2019 US Open. Since the end of last season, the 2022 Players Championship runner-up has moved to the LIV series and has not played on the PGA TOUR.

Lahiri, who has moved his base from the US to Dubai, recently lost his mother-in-law and missed some events. He has since been back in action and is keen to put on a good show to stay inside the top 100 in the world.

Meanwhile, Korea’s rising star Tom Kim is ready for the big test alongside the game’s best stars as he starts in his third PGA Championship.

The 20-year-old Kim, who is already a two-time PGA TOUR winner, is among a strong Asian contingent gathered for the year’s second major which delivered the region’s first male major champion in Korea’s YE Yang, who triumphed in 2009 at Hazeltine.

Fellow Korean Sungjae Im, who missed last year’s PGA due to Covid-19, will tee up at Oak Hill in good form following a home victory on the Korean PGA Tour last week.

Other Asian hopefuls keen to make an impression at the challenging par-70 Oak Hill layout include Si Woo Kim, K.H. Lee and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, winner of the 2021 Masters.

Kim had missed the cut in two previous appearances in the PGA Championship in 2020 and last year, but he has slowly made his impression at the majors with a 23rd-place finish at the U.S. Open followed by a tie for 47th at The Open Championship last year.

Last month, the talented Korean finished joint 16th in his Masters Tournament debut.

The year’s second Major will see Justin Thomas defending his title this week against the likes of World No. 1 Jon Rahm, the second-ranked Scottie Scheffler and reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy.

Kim doesn’t quite mind seeing himself as an underdog as this is only his second year on the PGA TOUR but following an impressive past 12 months, he feels he has also done enough to enter any week with the knowledge and confidence that he has a chance to win like any other top player.

Oak Hill will host its seventh major championship this week and the first since the 2013 PGA Championship. The venue has held three PGA Championships (1980/Jack Nicklaus, 2003/Shaun Micheel and 2013/Jason Dufner) and three US Open (1956/Cary Middlecoff, 1968/Lee Trevino, 1989/Curtis Strange).

Thirty-five players who competed in the 2013 PGA Championship are in the 2023 field, led by Adam Scott, who finished tied 5th.


Nishna Patel misses Asia Pacific Junior title by one shot, finishes tied second

Indian amateur golfer Nishna Patel missed the title by just one shot as she finished tied second at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) Junior Championships in Manila on Thursday.

Nishna had an impressive closing round of 69 but fell short of the title by one shot at the Orchard Golf Club.

She was tied fifth after the second round but moved up well to tied second. Her first round of 74 proved costly.

Nishna outshone her fancied teammate Avani Prashanth, who a few months ago had topped the individual section at the Queen Sirikit Cup, also in Manila.

Avani Prashanth, who was tied third after the first day, ended tied eighth after three days.

Nishna shot rounds of 74-70-69 for a total of 213 as Lau carded 73-70-69 for a total of 212 for the title.

Nishna was tied second with the duo Thai of Pimpisa Rubrong (74-69-70) and Prim Prachnakorn (68-72-73). Avani Prashanth was tied eighth with rounds of 73-73-72 and a total of 218.

The Mumbai golfer, who plays at BPGC Mumbai, turns 17 later this month. She had earlier represented India at multiple editions of the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific and the Queen Sirikit Cup, and has been making good progress.

Of the two Indian participants in the boys section, Jujhar Singh (78-74-69) was tied seventh with a total of 221 and Sukhman Singh (78-78-75) was further down.

The boys title was won by Hsu Po-cheng of Chinese Taipei, who shot 69-68-73 for a 210 total.

The second place was shared by Moon Dong-hyun (Korea) 71-71-69 and An Seong-hyeon (Korea) 71-69-71.

Players who were 17 years or under as of May 16 were eligible to participate in the APGC Junior Championships, which were being staged for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



WTA125 Florence: Ankita goes down fighting against Errani

Former world No.5 Sara Errani beat qualifier Ankita Raina 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $115,000 WTA tennis tournament in Florence, Italy, on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Ankita, who had beaten Sara in three sets in 2021, was unable to capitalise on a strong start this time. She converted eight of 18 break points to make a fight till the end, against the 36-year-old Sara, ranked 78.

$115,000 WTA, Florence, Italy
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Sara Errani (Ita) bt Ankita Raina 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
$200,000 Challenger, Turin, Italy
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Victor Cornea (Rou) & Luis Martinez (Ven) bt Sriram Balaji & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-4, 3-6, [10-7].
$80,000 Challenger, Tunis, Tunisia
Doubles (quarterfinals): Niki Poonacha & Adam Taylor (Aus) bt Shintaro Mochizuki & Rio Noguchi (Jpn) 7-5, 4-6, [10-4].
$15,000 ITF men, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Digvijay Pratap Singh bt Ishaque Eqbal 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; Guy Iradukunda (Bdi) bt Rishab Agarwal 6-3, 6-0;
First round: Nicolas Valdes (Chi) bt Nitin Kumar Sinha 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(8); Rishab Agarwal bt Dev Javia 6-3, 7-6(1); SD Prajwal Dev bt Ben Weintraub (Isr) 6-2, 6-0;
$100,000 ITF women, Madrid, Spain
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Oksana Kalashnikova (Geo) & Katarzyna Piter (Pol) bt Conny Perrin (Sui) & Prarthana Thombare 6-3, 6-3; Eleni Christofi & Despina Papamichail (Gre) bt Lucia Llorca (Esp) & Vasanti Shinde 6-3, 6-1.
$25,000 ITF women, Incheon, Korea
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Yujin Ahn (Kor) bt Vaidehi Chaudhari 7-6(5), 6-2.
$25,000 ITF women, Kachreti, Georgia
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Anna Kubareva 6-3, 6-3.
Doubles (quarterfinals): Maria Kozyreva & Ekaterina Ovcharenko bt Zeel Desai & Sahaja Yamalapalli 7-6(5), 6-3.
$15,000 ITF women, Curitiba, Brazil
Singles (first round): Smriti Bhasin bt Rocio Merlo (Arg) 6-3, 6-0.
$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Sharmada Ballu & Elaine Genovese (Mlt) bt Lamis Azia (Egy) & Wang Jiaqi (Chn) 6-3, 6-4; Samira De Stefano & Maria Viviani (Ita) bt Tanisha Kashyap & Lola Marandel (Fra) 6-2 (retired).

-Team Sportstar


Asian U-17, U-23 Championships selection trials

Selection trials for 15 weight categories were held on the second day of the Asian under-17 and under-23 wrestling championships at Sonepat and Patiala on Thursday.

Altogether 144 wrestlers in freestyle, 68 in Greco Roman and 75 in women participated in the trials.

The selected wrestlers:

U-17: Freestyle: Dhanraj (45kg), Rohit (51kg), Ankush (55kg); Greco Roman: Pranjal (45kg), Manu Yadav (51kg), Suraj (55kg); Women: Rachna (40kg), Muskan (46kg), Drishti (49kg).

U-23: Freestyle: Sandeep Singh (86kg), Parveen Kumar (92kg); Greco Roman: Manoj (87kg), Nitesh (97kg); Women: Radhika (68kg), Jyoti Berwal (72kg).

-Team Sportstar

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