Kolkata: Hitaashee Bakshi showed that she is ready to make waves once again, as she grabbed the third leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour with a fine performance at the Tollygunge Club.
Hitaashee won three times in 2022, but then had a winless 2023 during which she was also injured. After two successive runner-up finishes on the 2024 Hero WPG Tour, she finished on top by a convincing margin of four shots. Playing steady golf with two birdies against one bogey, she carded 1-under 69 and was 2-under 208 for the week.
Hitaashee’s last win on the Tour came 22 months ago in September 2022 in the 11th Leg of the 2022 season at Hyderabad.
Jasmine Shekar shrugged off an early double bogey to bring in 69, the only other under par card of the day to be second at 2-over 212. Ananya Garg, who was tied for second overnight, dropped bogeys on the 16th and 17th and finished third, while Ridhima Dilawari, who was also tied second after two rounds, ended fourth.
Hitaashee, who recently won the Qualifying School and full playing rights to the All-Thailand Pro Golf Tour, started the day with a three-shot margin over Ananya and Ridhima, both of whom dropped further back with a bogey start. Hitaashee parred the first two holes and a birdie on the third put her further ahead.
Neither Ananya nor Ridhima could come close to Hitaashee, who played very solid with just one bogey on the sixth, which she made up for with a birdie on the seventh. She parred the last 11 holes.
Jasmine did make a bid with three birdies, but the double bogey dented her hopes, and she also missed a few birdie putts.
Amateur Anaahat Bindra (72) was tied fifth with Seher Atwal (74), while Khushi Khanijau (70), the first-round leader, was seventh. Sneha Singh (71), winner of the second leg, ended in a tie for eighth place with Amandeep Drall (75) and Gauri Karhade (77).
Hitaashee also moved to the top of the Hero Order of Merit with the win, that followed second place finishes in the first two legs. Hitaashee has now won Rs.3,69,000 while Sneha has taken home Rs.3,29,500 and Jasmine Shekar is third with Rs.2,16,900. Khushi Khanijau and Amandeep Drall are fourth and fifth on the Hero Order of Merit.
The fourth leg of the Hero WPGT will be held at the Vizag, East Point Golf Club from February 6 to 9, 2024.