Kolkata: Diksha Dagar pulled away from the rest of the field with two birdies in the last three holes in the 15th and final Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Thursday.
Dagar, looking for her first win on the domestic Tour as a professional, is now in sole lead. She carded her second straight one-under 71 to get to two-under 142 and open up a three-shot lead over overnight co-leader Ridhima Dilawari (74). Ridhima, looking for her fifth win this year, is one-over 145 for 36 holes.
Diksha won the final leg of the 2017 season, but as an amateur. She turned pro at the start of this year and won the Women’s South African Open on the Ladies European Tour, but she is yet to win on the Indian pro Tour this year.
In her three previous starts this season, she was third in the first leg, Tied-second in the 13th Leg and was fourth last week in the 14th Leg.
Vani Kapoor (72) moved into third place at 146 and was one shot ahead of amateur Pranavi Urs (72) at 147. Amandeep Drall had an up-and-down round with three birdies, four bogeys and a double in her 75, and is fifth at 150.
Dagar opened with a birdie on the first and then dropped bogeys on eighth and 12th, but birdied 16th and 18th for a 71. Dilawari birdied fourth but dropped bogeys on fifth, sixth and 11th for her 74.
Tvesa Malik, the second most successful player on the domestic Tour this year with three wins, had a terrible start and never recovered from it. She began bogey, bogey, double bogey to be four-over through the first three holes. She did not drop any more bogeys and picked one birdie on the Par-3 13th for a total of 75, to go with her first round 76 and a total of 151 in Tied-sixth alongside Thai girl P. Supakchaya (73-78).
Gauri Karhade (78-76) and Khushi Khanijau (75-80) were eighth and ninth, while Neha Tripathi (76-80) and Siddhi Kapoor (74-82) were Tied-tenth.
Gurugram: Diksha Dagar fired four birdies while dropping a stroke in the back nine to take the lead as overnight leader Tvesa Malik had a poor second round of the 13th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Gary Player layout in the DLF Golf & Country Club here on Thursday..
Even as Diksha holds a two-shot lead over Tvesa, the latter is another three shots ahead of Gursimar Badwal (73) and Gaurika Bishnoi (74), who are Tied-third.
Diksha, who flew in straight from Europe for the event, bettered her first round 73 with a fine four-under 68 that took her total to three-under 141. Tvesa on the other hand fell to one-under 143 as she carded three-over 75, which had just one birdie and four bogeys. As of now only Diksha and Tvesa have carded under par totals.
That put Diksha is a strong position going into the final round. Her only win on the Hero WPG Tour has come as an amateur in the last event of the 2017 season.
The current season of 2019 is her rookie season as a pro, and Diksha has already won the South African Women’s Open on the Ladies European Tour.
Gursimar had three birdies on the front nine against one bogey, while she had three bogeys on the back nine for a total of 73, the same as the first day.
Gaurika had two birdies against four bogeys, three of which were on the front nine.
Ridhima has been having a quiet run after her win in the ninth leg, which was her third win of the season. Since then she has had a best finish of Tied-seventh, ans so will be looking at a good finish here.
Vani Kapoor (76) and Gurjot Badwal (77) are Tied-seventh, while Siddhi Kapoor (79) and Gauri Karhade (82) are Tied-ninth.Sneha Sharan is the leading amateur and Tied-11th alongside Amandeep Drall.
Karlstejn (Czech Republic): Diksha Dagar, the current runner-up on the Rookie of the Year rankings, is aiming for her second win of the season at the €120,000 Tipsport Czech Ladies Open to be played from 23-25 Aug 2019 at the Golf Resort Karlštejn.
The 18-year-old golfer is the lone Indian representative in 138 players strong international field including 50 from Ladies European Tour (LET), 50 from LET Access Series (LETAS), 10 Federation exchanges, 10 promoter LET invites and 18 Czech Golf Federation invites.
Diksha, who suffered from a complete hearing impairment for first six years of her life, has come a long way, thanks to golf. Aged 16, Diksha had won a Deaflympics Silver medal for India in 2017. Currently, she is 14th on the LET Order of Merit and second on the Rookie list, with a win and a Top 10 – T5th at the NSW Open – under her belt this season.
Diksha’s last three professional outings include the Major debut at the Evian Championship, followed by the AIG Women’s British Open and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. The experience of playing in the Majors was a great learning experience but she missed the cut in all three.
“The season so far has been good. This year I have played in three huge tournaments including two majors. It was a great experience and I came to know about what I need to do to prepare in future. When I played my first major it was completely different level of golf. It was quite tough,” shared Diksha after her pre-event practice round.
“The courses were very long with thick grass. The greens were pretty fast. The world’s top players were in the field, they hit very long. I need to improve my distance to compete against them. But this experience has made me stronger. It has made me confident that ‘Yes, I can do it!’ I have learned what has to be done to compete at Majors. I have to improve my fitness and it is a crucial part of the game. If I can improve my fitness I can reach the green on a par 5 in two shots easily, which will create birdie opportunities.”
“I also have to improve my putting skills. At the Majors, the greens are tricky and super-fast. The green speed goes around 11 or 12” she added.
Another big change in her short professional career yet is the change of golf equipment. Diksha, who was earlier using Titleist, has switched to Callaway after the Evian Championship.
“I am using the Epic Flash driver and I have also changed the putter. I have moved to Callaway completely in terms of my golf set,” said Diksha, who is only the second Indian winner on the Ladies European Tour (LET) after Aditi Ashok.
Having tested the waters at a couple of Majors already and with a new equipment, Diksha is raring to make an impact at Golf Resort Karlštejn this week where she believes that hole number two is the best hole in the Czech Republic.
“This is a challenging course, lots of up and down. Yesterday, I played the front nine and I did the back nine today. The fairways and greens are soft because of the rain. I also saw the beautiful Karlštejn Castle over the mountain,” added Diksha.
The second ranked player on the Rookie of the Year list, Diksha is also aiming to fight for the Top Rookie honours on the LET.
“I am going to focus on the Rookie of the Year title and I also have to improve my game. Now, I have started doing fitness as well. I remember, from my experiences in National Camps, what needs to be done to increase my strength so I am working on it. For golf, it’s important to strengthen your shoulders and the lower body as well, to get good distance and accuracy.”
“I am also excited that, in a few weeks, I will get to play in my home country, in the Hero Women’s Indian Open. It is going to be fun. I am very confident all Indian girls will finish high at the Women’s Indian Open,” added Diksha before heading off to the putting green.