Flawess Pranavi rallies to win second leg of women's golf
Chennai, Jan 22 (IANS) Pranavi Urs played a brilliant and flawless back nine of four-under to rally from behind and win the second leg of the Women's Pro Golf Tour here on Friday. She shot a round of four-under 68 on the final day to aggregate four-under 212 and thwarted 16-year-old Hitaashee Bakshi's attempt to win a second pro title in two months.
Pranavi also stamped her authority on the TNGF Cosmo Golf Course, as this was where she won her first title in her maiden start as a pro a week after winning as an amateur in Mumbai. Pranavi's first pro title came in February last year and last week she was runner-up to Ridhima Dilawari. This becomes Pranavi's second pro title.
Hitaashee, who was three-over through 10 holes, showed great ability to fight back to one-over 73 and was second at 2-under 214, while second round leader Ridhima Dilawari (71) ended third at one-under 215.
It was one of the rare occasions that the top three finishers had under-par totals at the end of three days. Underlining the intense competition was Jahanvi Bakshi (72), the first round leader, who was fourth at even par 216.
Pranavi, showing the kind of form that fetched her two titles and a runner-up finish in three straight starts at the beginning of 2020, was even par for the front nine with two birdies on fifth and ninth, but bogeys on second and sixth meant she turned in even par. On the back nine she was on fire with birdies on 11th, 13th, 16th and she closed in style with a birdie on Par-3 18th for a 68.
Hitaashee, who began the day with a three-shot lead, dropped shots on sixth, seventh and 10th and that allowed Pranavi to wipe out the deficit.
As Pranavi ran up four birdies on back nine, Hitaashee managed three but also dropped shots on 10th and 14th. That gave Pranavi a comfortable 2-shot win.
Ridhima had four birdies between 12th and 17th but was unable to make ground on the front runners. She finished with 71 and was third.
Jahanvi had four birdies, but she also dropped two bogeys on each side of the course for her 72 and ended fourth.
Neha Tripathi (69) was undone by a rough 78 on the second day and she finished in a tie for fifth with young Oviya Reddi (74). Amateurs Sneha Singh and Avani Prashanth (75) were tied seventh, while Amandeep Drall (74) was ninth. Seher Atwal (74) and Vani Kapoor (76) were Tied-10th.
Amandeep Drall stays on top of the Order of Merit with Rs.9,29,400 as Vani Kapoor (Rs.8,24,650) and Pranavi Urs (Rs.7,05,700) moved up to third.