Harpal Singh Bedi
NOIDA: Diksha Dagar and Ridhima DIlawari carded identical three-under 69 each to set up a engrossing clash with Tvesa Malik and Gaurika Bishnoi who returned 71 each at the end of the first round of the 14th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Noida Course on Wednesday.
Diksha, teed off in the first group, got her first birdie on the second hole, but hit a bogey on the Par-4 sixth. However two successive birdies on eighth and ninth ensured she turned in at two-under for the front nine. .
Diksha, playing her third event on the Hero WPG Tour this season, with a string of pars, including some good saves, saw her come to the 18th at two-under before a birdie finish enabled her to end the day with 69.
Three-time winner this year, Ridhima, started with a birdie, but dropped a shot on the next hole. Seven pars after that saw her turn in even par before she found some rhythm on the back nine. A birdie on 11th followed by two more on 17th and 18th saw her share the top spot with Diksha .
Tvesa, who like Ridhima, has won three times in 2019, had a strong finish with three birdies in the last five holes, but before that she birdied the seventh. However, she gave away a lot of shots with a double on 11th and a bogey on 12th. Gaurika opened birdie-birdie and rode it well till the bogey on Par-5 eighth, which seemed costly. She birdied twice on back nine on 14th and 17th but gave away shots on 11th and the closing bogey on 18th.
Amandeep Drall shot 75 to be sole fifth, while Neha Tripathi, Astha Madan and Smriti Mehra were Tied-sixth at 77 each. Saaniya Sharma and Ananya Datar completed the Top-10 with cards of 78 each.
With four players bringing in sub-par rounds, the final two rounds should see a strong tussle as the season comes to its closing stages.