Women's golf WPGT

Work during the break helps Ridhima make winning start in 2021 Hero WPGT

Underlining the growing strength of promising women amateurs on the Indian golfing scene, Disha Kavery shot 70 to finish fourth while Ananya Datar (70) was fifth.

BENGALUURU: Ridhima Dilawari carded a third straight under par round to complete a start-to-finish win in the first leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2021 at the Prestige Golfshire in Bengaluru. She added a one-under 71 to the cards of 71-67 she had earlier and finished the week with a total of seven-under 209, giving her a comfortable five-short win over Pranavi Urs (70).

Vani Kapoor had better luck with the birdies on the final day and returned a card of two-under 70 for an even par total of 216 and finished third. Underlining the growing strength of promising women amateurs on the Indian golfing scene, Disha Kavery also shot 70 to finish fourth, while Ananya Datar (70) was fifth.

Ridhima, who began the day with a six-shot lead, once again had a rocky start with a double bogey on the Par-5 third hole – she had a double bogey on first on the first day and a bogey on the second on the second and on the third and final day it was a double on the third. Despite that she felt under no tension and laughed and said, “(There was) no tension. I was playing good, just had a bit of a brain freeze on one shot.”

Shrugging aside the double, Ridhima birdied the fourth and added another on eighth. A bogey on ninth saw her take the turn at one-over, but she was still way ahead of playing partner Pranavi (70), who had an eagle on Par-5 third, and turned in even par 36. Pranavi had bogeyed third and fourth.

On the back nine, Ridhima played steady and made no errors and sealed her win with birdies on 16th and 18th for a 71.

Pranavi bogeyed 10th but birdied the 12th, 16th and 17th to keep Vani Kapoor at bay. Vani had four birdies against two bogeys in her 70.

Ridhima, who represented India at the 2018 Asian Games before turning pro, was elated at the win and said, “Among the main things I worked on during the quarantine was my short game, especially my putting, because I felt like I needed to put in some more work there so now it’s going well so far. Hopefully that continues. I have also been working a lot on my fitness and trying to get some more power and increase my swing speed.”

Ridhima has also focussed on her diet, revealing, “Also I’ve been very particular about my diet and my workouts and that was what I spent the bulk of my time on during quarantine. I’ve been working with my trainer and my team at fitness centre called Sporting Ethos where I’ve been working out for the past seven odd years.  On other things I have been working with Romit Bose, who is my coach and have also been putting in work on my own. I am glad it all came together this week.”

Hitaashee Bakshi (73), amateur Sneha Sharan (70), and Seher Atwal (74) tied for sixth, while Neha Tripathi and Amandeep Drall (75) completed the Top-10.

Apart from Ridhima’s steady display through the week, the highlights of the final day included a hole-in-one by Oviya Reddi (69), who shot the best card of the day but ended T-18. Shweta Mansingh, who was tied with Oviya for 18th place, had a superb run of birdies on the front nine, when she holed four in a row from third to sixth and another one on eighth. But she also gave away a lot of bogeys and ended with a 75.

The second leg will be held at the TNGF Cosmo Golf Course in Chennai from Jan 20 to 22 with the practice day being Jan 19 and Ridhima will hope to continue her winning form. (Text & picture: WGAI).

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