Ridhima holds off Afshan, Neha to win ninth leg of Hero WPGT

Ridhima Dilawari editedBengaluru: Ridhima Dilawari held her nerve in the crucial closing stages of the final round to stave off a strong challenge from Afshan Fatima and Neha Tripathi to win her third title of the season on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Prestige Golfshire on Friday.

Ridhima, who has won twice earlier this year, started the final round with a handy four shot lead, but Afshan wiped out that lead at one stage after the 10th hole. Within minutes of that Afshan left the door open for just a while with a bogey on 11ththat put Ridhima in the lead once again. This time Ridhima made no mistake and held on by adding a birdie on Par-4 12th while parring the rest of the holes.

Afshan did manage one more birdie on Par-3 17th, but despite numerous attempts was unable to get another to force a play-off.

Overall Ridhima had two bogeys and just one  birdie which came in the crucial stages, while Afshan had three birdies against two bogeys as she cut the deficit from four shots to one to log her best finish of the season.

Adding to the suspense was Neha Tripathi, who opened bogey-bogey but pulled herself back with an eagle on fifth. She bogeyed twice  more on seventh and ninth. However, she found a second wind on the back nine as she birdied 13th, 15thand 16th, but still fell two short of Ridhima and was one behind second placed Afshan.

Ridhima finished the day with 74 and was three-over 219 for the week, while Afshan, who shot the day’s best score of one-under 71, was four-over 220 and Neha (72) was third at five-over 221.

Khushi Khanijau (73) finished fourth, while Gaurika Bishnoi who shot 74 was fifth. Astha Madan (79) ended sixth, Amandeep Drall (72) was seventh and Millie Saroha (81) was eighth.

Smriti Mehra and Siddhi Kapoor rounded off the Top-10.

Despite a fifth place finish, Gaurika stayed on top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Neha Tripathi stayed second and Amandeep Drall was third. Ridhima moved up to fifth place with her third win in six starts and was one place behind Gursimar Badwal.

The next event, which is the 10th leg of the current season, will be played at the Bangalore Golf Club next week.