Harpal Singh Bedi
Gurugram: Vani Kapoor carded a crucial birdie on the very last hole to card 3-under 69 and with a three -day total of 2-under 214 won the 7th leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, title here on Thursday.
The last round 69 was good enough for Vani to win a title after a gap of three years as Gaurika Bishnoi, who led for a good part of the day, was unable to find a birdie over the last seven holes and also bogeyed the Par 4 14 th.
Gaurika (72) ended at 1-under 215 to be second. Ridhima Dilawari, who played alongside Gaurika, too, had a chance as she birdied 16th and 17th. She needed a birdie to force a play-off with Vani, but instead double bogeyed the last hole and fell to third place. Ridhima totalled 1-over 217.
Overnight leader Tvesa Malik (77) ran into rough weather in the final round and was fourth, while amateur Vidhatri Urs (76) and Asmitha Sathish (73) were tied for fifth.
Playing in the final group, Gaurika had a chance to force a play-off as she stood on a birdie putt, which however, was a not a straight-forward one. The ball went past the hole and Gaurika was left in second place.
Vani Kapoor, who started the day three behind the 36-hole leader Tvesa Malik, had one birdie and one bogey on the front nine. As the lead group of Tvesa, Gaurika and amateur Vidhatri turned into the back nine, Gaurika held the pole position.
Vani turned the tide on the back nine with birdies on 10th and 12th and then added a vital final one on the 18th.
Gaurika, who started the final day one behind the leader, was unlucky with many of her putts, including the one on the 18th, where she faced a tricky eight-footer.
Gaurika, playing in the final group, did well to come back from a double bogey on Par-5 fourth as she birdied three of the next four holes. But things did not go her way in the closing stages. On one occasion on the 17th, the ball stopped right at the edge of the cup, and she only got a par, where she deserved a birdie.
It was Vani’s day, more so on the back nine. She not only birdied three times but also saved a couple of very good pars to snatch a fine win.
Ridhima was in the mix till the very end before a double bogey pushed her down the leader board.
Overnight leader Tvesa had an early birdie on the third and stretched her lead at the top. However, after that nothing went right for her. She bogeyed fifth, eighth, 11th and 14th and had a double bogey on the par-4 sixth for a 77.
Seher Atwal (73) and Amandeep Drall (73) were sixth and seventh, while Lakhmehar Pardesi, who had seven birdies in her 71, was tied eighth alongside Rhea Jha (75) and amateur Anvvi Dahhiya (77).
Sneha Singh, who had a disappointing week in tied 21st place, continues to lead the Hero Order of Merit. Vani Kapoor, who won Rs.2,84,000 from the season’s highest purse of Rs. 23 lakhs, moved into third place, while Seher Atwal is second.