NEW DELHI: Former champion Aditi Ashok will lead a full-strength home challenge when the $400,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament returns to the DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurugram, from October 20 to 23.
The premier annual event was last held in 2019 but the next two editions could not take place due to the pandemic.
Among the overseas contenders, Sweden’s Linn Grant heads the list. She is currently second on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit after winning four titles this season.
Ana Pelaez Trivino (Spain), Megan Maclaren (England), Tiia Kovisto (Finland) and Anna Charlotte Mora (France) are the other LET winners this season to have confirmed their participation.
The Indian challengers, in the 114-player field, include Tvesa Malik (19th on LET last season), Diksha Dagar (the 2022 Deaflympics gold medallist), Amandeep Drall and Vani Kapoor. Other regulars from the domestic tour joining the fray will be Ridhima Dilawari, Gaurika Bishnoi and Neha Tripathi.
Kapur shoots 8-under to lead in Chinese Taipei; Sandhu is tied fourth
Linkou (Chinese Taipei): India's Shiv Kapur carded a brilliant eight-under-par 64 on day one to take a two-shot lead in the USD 700,000 Yeangder TPC here on Thursday.
The event marked the return of Asian Tour to Chinese Taipei after three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four-time Asian Tour winner overpowered the course with an eagle, eight birdies and just two bogeys at Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Ajeetesh Sandhu added to the good showing from Indian with a round of 5-under 67 to be tied fourth while Chinese Taipei's star Chan Shih-chang and Malaysian Ben Leong came in with 66s.
Other Indians in action were Rashid Khan (68, T-11), Aadil Bedi (69) and S Chikkarangappa (69) at T-19; Manu Gandas, Rahil Gangjee, Veer Ahlawat and Aman Raj at T-35 with 70 each.
Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya shot 71 each to be T-51, while Khalin Joshi (73) was T-84. Karandeep Kochhar (74), M Dharma (75), SSP Chawrasia (75) and Viraj Madappa (75) were further down.
Sandhu and Prom Messawat from Thailand, both former winners of this event, fired 67s, along with Thailand's Nitithorn Thippong, a two-time champion this season, Chinese Taipei's Lu Sun-yi, an amateur, Lee Chieh-po and Lin Keng-wei, and Miguel Carballo from Argentina.
"I putted really well, I have a local caddie out there, whose name is Su (Su Ching-Hong, a national team player), who was arranged for me by James Chan (Chan Shih-chang) and the Tour and he is reading the greens really well, so I am just trusting him," said Kapur, who won the Yeangder Heritage here on the Asian Tour in Chinese Taipei in 2017.
"I have always struggled around the greens here after all these years, but I am holing putts and he was a big help today." His round started on 10 but his game really got going on his second nine when he eagled the first before making birdie on the next four.
He added: "Season so far has been a bit lack lustre, struggled with injuries in the middle of the season. My game has been close, but it has been very frustrating. I have been making a lot of cuts but not been playing well at the weekend. I feel like I was close, and I was looking for a low round and I could not have asked for a better start." The Indian star suffered a foot injury and was out of action for five weeks in the middle of the season, but luckily, did not miss too many events because it was in the summer.
"I tried to make compensations and so I lost my swing a little bit. I feel like it is coming back for the business end of season, two good weeks here will set me up rest of the year," he said.
Sandhu won here in 2017, and despite a solid start, he felt there is still plenty to work on.
"I eagled the first but then cooled down after that. I didn’t play my best today, but I scored ok. Everything thing was average," he said.
"Conditions were quite easy, there was no wind, and the greens have improved. It was quite scorable out there. I'll just need to play better tomorrow."
Rain forces cancellation of final round, Gaurika declared winner
Gaurika Bishnoi's strong finish in the second round proved crucial as she was declared the winner after the final round of 13th Leg of Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour here was cancelled on account of rain.
Gaurika, who closed her second round with a hat-trick of birdies and carded 3-under 69, finished at 2-over 146 as the tournament was decided on the basis of 36 holes.
This was Gaurika's first title since the seventh leg of the 2019 season.
"It was good to get a win even if it was shortened after such a long gap of more than three years," said Gaurika, who won her last title at Clover Greens in June 2019.
Pranavi, who was still an amateur when Gaurika last won, finished second for the fourth time this season.
Gaurika's two rounds this week were 71-69 to Pranavi's 71-75. Tied with Pranavi for the second place was first round leader, Nayanika Sanga, who had 70-76.
Sneha Singh (77-74) was fourth with Oviya Reddi (75-78) fifth. Seher Atwal (75-80) was sixth. Four players, Ridhima Dilawari (78-79), Neha Tripathi (78-79), amateur Jasmine Shekar (78-79) and Khushi Khanijau (75-82) were tied for seventh place.
This was the final WPGT event ahead of the Women's Indian Open, a USD 400,000 event on the Ladies European Tour, which will be held at the DLF Golf and Country Club next month.
Pranavi Urs stayed on top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Hitaashee Bakshi is second, Seher Atwal is third and Gaurika Bishnoi moved up to fourth.
Showrya Samala sets up Asian Junior Under-14 Grade A tournament title clash with Arnav Paparkar
Showrya Samala defeated Shivtej Shirfule 6-1, 6-1 to set up a title-clash with Arnav Paparkar who got the better of Hruthik Katakam 6-0, 6-2 in the boys singles semifinals of the Asian Junior (under-14) Grade A tennis tournament at Secunderabad Club here on Thursday.
Shruti storms into finals of Asian Junior Tennis Championship
Second seed Shruti Ahlwat made the girls final with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Emerson Jones of Australia in the Asian junior tennis championship organised by the MSLTA at the Deccan Gymkhana Club on Thursday.
In the final, Shruti will be challenged by another Aussie, Lily Taylor, who got past top seed Yu-Yun Li of Chinese Taipei.
The boys singles semifinals, featuring all four Indian players, will be played on Friday.
SRFI Indian Tour squash: Abhay Singh, Sunayna Kuruvilla pull off upset wins
Chennai: India's Abhay Singh, seeded four, shocked top-seed Yassin Elshafei of Egypt 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 4-11, 12-10 in a long-drawn 51-minute duel to enter the men's singles final of the 4th HCL-SRFI Indian Tour - Chennai Leg 2022 squash tournament.
He will meet No.3 seed Khaled Lebib of Egypt in the final on Saturday.
In the women's semifinals, Sunayna Kuruvilla, the fifth-seed defeated No.2 seed Salma Eltayeb (Egypt) in straight games to set up a final clash with Kenzy Aman of Egypt, the No.1 seed.
ITF Masters tennis tournament: Rashid Malik beats Yogesh Kohli
JALANDHAR: Rashid Malik of Pakistan beat Yogesh Kohli 6-2, 6-2 in the over-50 final of the ITF Masters tennis tournament at the Singha Sports Academy on Thursday.
Despite being over 60, Malik always challenges himself by competing in the younger age group. Even though he was not that familiar with clay, owing to the major presence of grass and hard courts back home, Malik was still a picture of energy and elegance as he entertained the small bunch of spectators with his classy game.
Raveen Chaudhary won the over-60 singles and doubles titles, while Chandra Bhushan bagged the over-55 singles and doubles titles. Pradeep Pant, Rajesh Baruah, Avniash Kunwar were the other winners.
In the women’s over-35 event, Sonal Vohra, playing two age groups lower, won the title by beating Pinky Sharma and Komal Aggarwal without dropping a set.
Shotgun World Championship: Shapath Bharadwaj misses qualification
New Delhi: Shapath Bharadwaj shot 111 following rounds of 23, 23, 22, 22 and 21, and missed qualification for the ranking round in junior men’s trap by two points in the Shotgun World Championship in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.
Arya Vansh Tyagi (107) and Shardul Vihan (106) placed 32nd and 36th respectively.
In the junior women’s trap, Bhavya Tripathi shot 103 for the 14th spot. She missed qualification by three points. Sabeera Haris (100), Preeti Rajak (98) and Aadya Tripathi (76) placed 19th, 22nd and 32nd respectively.
Tickets sold out for India vs Australia T20I in Hyderabad
Hyderabad Cricket Association informed the media on Thursday evening that all tickets for the third and final T-20 international match between India and Australia have been sold out.
"The fans now can only collect the physical tickets from the Secunderabad Gymkhana Ground from September 23 to 25 between 10.00 am to 5.00 pm by showing the e-mail confirmation received during online purchase," the release said.
"The fans are to note that entry to Gymkhana Ground is prohibited without the valid e-mail confirmations, a valid ID proof and submitting a photocopy of the same," it is informed.
"In case if someone is collecting on someone else's behalf an authority letter clearly stating the same with the photocopy of both the ID proofs will be mandatory," HCA informed.
-V. V. Subrahmanyam
Delhi Golf Club League from September 29
NEW DELHI: Twenty teams will vie for honours in the second edition of the Lloyd Delhi Golf Club League beginning here on September 29.
The addition of two more teams from the inaugural edition has resulted in the playing days being raised to 13, leading to the finale on October 22.
Each team has 20 members, a coach and a mentor. Seasoned professionals like Gaurav Ghei and Nonita Lal Qureshi are among the mentors.
It is mandatory for participating clubs to include a player aged over-70, a lady player besides a maximum of two junior players.
Speaking at the launch, Ghei expressed his excitement over the ensuing event. “Having grown up on the Delhi Golf Club course and enjoyed some very special moments of my career here, it feels great to play the role of a mentor and share my knowledge with juniors and other Club members.
Nonita spoke about how she has enjoyed her playing days and now as a coach to juniors on this course.
These 20 teams are divided into four groups. After the league, where a match involves seven pairs from each team taking on its counterparts from the opponents on a four-ball better-ball Match-play format.
Two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Thereafter, the matches will be played on knockout basis to ascertain the winner.
Jeevan in doubles semifinals
NEW DELHI: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in partnership with Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia made the doubles semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Joao Domingues and Goncalo Falcao of Portugal in the €445,730 Challenger tennis tournament in Portugal on Thursday.
In the Challenger in the USA, Sasikumar Mukund reached the pre-quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Nicolas Mejia of Colombia.