Women’s Pro Golf Tour, 12th leg: Pranavi wins fifth title with 5-shot margin
Pranavi Urs continued her domination at the Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour by claiming the 12th leg of the Tour by a massive five-shot margin at the Hyderabad Golf Association course in Hyderabad on Thursday.
With no under par scores and most going well over, Pranavi's 2-over 72 held out comfortably, while local golfer Sneha Singh shot 1-over 71 and moved to Tied-second alongside amateur Kriti Chowhan, who had two bogeys in the last three holes during a round of 73.
It was Pranavi's fifth win in 12 events and she further extended her lead on the Hero Order of Merit. Her winnings are Rs. 12,24,500 while the second placed Hitaashee Bakshi has Rs.8,62,700. Seher Atwal with Rs.8,23,350 is third.
Gauri Karhade (71) and Seher Atwal (73) were tied for fourth at 6-over 216, while three players, Nayanika Sanga (71), amateur Heena Kang (73) and another amateur Vidhatri Urs (76) finished tied sixth at 7-over 217.
Pranavi, starting the final round with a four-shot cushion, began in a steady fashion with five pars in a row. She then dropped a double bogey on Par-5 sixth and followed it up with a birdie on seventh and a bogey on eighth to turn in 2-over 36.
Kriti Chowhan, the nearest rival for Pranavi, was unable to make ground on the front nine as she started with a double on first and later had one birdie and one bogey.
In contrast, Vidhatri collapsed with 4-over 38 on the front nine and Sneha Singh moved up with nine pars on the front nine.
Pranavi had two birdies and two back-to-back bogeys on the back nine and finished with 72, while Kriti had a double on the Par-3 11th and a birdie on the Par-3 16th for a round of 73. Sneha did find birdies on 14th and 15th but also dropped shots on 13th, 16th and 18th and finished at 71, five behind Pranavi. Vidhatri had three bogeys against one birdie on the back nine and ended the day with a disappointing 76 and slipped to Tied-sixth.
Jyotsana Singh, one of the two players to return a card of even par 70, was ninth at 218, while Shweta Mansingh (70) and Saaniya Sharma (73) were tied for 10th. Winner of the 11th Leg, Hitaashee Bakshi (75) and Asmitha Sathish (72) were tied for 12th at 220.
The Tour now returns to the national capital region for the 13th Leg at the Gary Player design DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurugram, as a precursor to the Hero Women's Indian Open next month.
Sandhu top Indian in Shinhan Donghae golf in Japan
Indian golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu, who won a Japan Challenge Tour title in 2017, closed strongly with three birdies in the last five holes to finish three-under 68 for a T-34 spot in the first round of the 38th Shinhan Donghae Open in Nara, Japan on Thursday.
Sandhu was the best among the four Indians, who teed off on Thursday at the event, which is being held at the Koma Country Club in Nara near Osaka.
Shiv Kapur and SSP Chawrasia shot two-under 69 each to be T-58 and Gaganjeet Bhullar, winner of this event in 2016, carded a 72.
Bhullar, who is looking for his 11th Asian Tour win, had a disappointing day with one-over 72 and T-105th, and now needs a low second round score to make the cut.
It is the first time the prestigious tournament has been played on the Asian Tour in three years because of the pandemic.
Khalin Joshi moves into lead at J&K Open 2022
Bengaluru's Khalin Joshi endured the extremely humid conditions in round two of the J&K Open to produce the day's best score, a top-notch four-under 68, to move up two spots and take a one-shot lead at six-under 138 in Jammu on Thursday.
Chandigarh's Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, the first round joint leader, continued to be in contention with a resolute 70 that saw him close the day in second place at five-under 139.
Bangladesh's Jamal Hossain (70) was third at four-under 140 while Delhi's Arjun Prasad (72), the overnight joint leader, was a further shot back in fourth place.
Gurugram-based Kartik Sharma's 68, the joint lowest score of the day, also happened to be the first bogey-free round of the tournament. It placed Kartik in tied fifth place along with another Gurugram golfer Veer Ahlawat (71), Bengaluru's Mari Muthu (70) and Delhi's Shamim Khan (72).
Among the prominent names, Rashid Khan was tied nine at even-par 144, Udayan Mane was tied 13th at one-over 145, Manu Gandas was 18th at two-over 146 and defending champion Honey Baisoya was tied 41st at seven-over 151.
On a day which witnessed 17 under-par scores, eight more than round one, the cut came down at eight-over 152. Fifty-four professionals made the cut. All the J&K-based players missed the cut.
Joshi, a 10th tee starter on day two, picked up a birdie early on the 11th thanks to a great lob wedge shot.
Joshi, an Asian Tour winner, then made pars all the way on the back-nine. He began to seize the initiative on the front-nine with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the first.
He followed that up with some top-class wedge shots that led to short birdie putts on the fourth, fifth and eighth. He dropped his only bogey of the day on the seventh and made a good par-save from the bunker on the closing ninth.
Yuki-Saketh pair reaches semifinals of Challenger event in France
Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni made the semifinals of the Challenger event in France by beating compatriots Arjun Kadhe and Divij Sharan 10-6 in the super tie-break.
Sasikumar Mukund beat Lorenzo Claverie of Italy 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tournament in Portugal.
Mukund also made the doubles quarterfinals in partnership with Arthur Fery of Britain.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
AITA wheelchair tennis tournament
Second seed V Shekar beat H Madhusudan 7-5, 6-0 to reach the semifinals of the AITA wheelchair tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi on Thursday.
In the semifinals, Shekar will play fourth seed S Balachandar. The other semifinal will be between top seed D Mariappan and third seed K Karthik.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
AITA men’s tournament
Former National champion Dalwinder Singh beat his doubles partner Suraj Prabodh 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2 in the semifinals of the Verka Rs.100,000 AITA men’s ranking tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex in Chandigarh on Thursday.
In the final, Dalwinder will play top seed Ishaque Eqbal who beat Neeraj Yashpaul in straight sets.
Dalwinder and Suraj combined to win the doubles title by beating Parth Aggarwal and Ishaque 6-2, 5-7, [10-5] in the final.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
South Zone Championships: Saneeth, Drithi lift singles titles
Every time she was pushed to a corner, Drithi Yatheesh flinched. Her movement was not fluid and as her Karnataka State-mate Rujula Ramu tried to move her around, in the women’s final of the Yonex Sunrise South Zone badminton championships at the St. Peter’s Sports Academy in Kolenchery on Thursday, Drithi appeared to be in some pain.
But despite the discomfort, Drithi was too good for Rujula – an opponent she had lost to in the State championship. She came up with some effective crosscourt smashes and drops and kept Rujula, who had packed off the top-seeded Shravya Dande in the quarterfinal, guessing all through and won 21-15, 21-13.
“I had blisters under one foot and every time I pressed that leg, it pained,” Drithi, coached by former international Arvind Bhat in Bengaluru’s Level Up Academy, told The Hindu after her victory.
Karnataka walked away with three of the four singles titles. D.S. Saneeth took the men’s trophy after his opponent Ayush Shetty retired midway through the second game with cramps. That also stopped Ayush from playing the under-19 boys final and Tushar Suveer won without entering the court. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s V.D. Methini defeated Andhra Pradesh’s Akansha Matte for the under-19 girls singles title.
Former Commonwealth Games medallist George Thomas was the chief guest and was among those who gave away the prizes.
- Stan Rayan