21 October 2018: The Gary Player course at the DLF Golf & Country Club wears you out, one stroke at a time. The course demands skill and temperament in equal measure and one or the other caves for most of the pilgrims that travel there for a conquest.
With five women quarrelling over the glistening blades of grass, there was no shortage of drama on the final day of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. In the end, a composed Becky Morgan trumped her rivals to score a memorable two-stroke victory over Caroline Hedwall, Christine Wolf, Felicity Johnson and Nicole Broch Larsen.
Indian golfers also gave a good account of ever improving skills – Gaurika Bishnoi, Tvesa Malik and Ridhima Dilawari finished inside the top twenty to underline the growing wealth of golf in India. Bishnoi and Tvesa were T13 at one-over 289 and Ridhima, just one back in 20th place.
Sifat Sagoo was the leading amateur, eking out a one-shot advantage over Pranavi Urs, the leading amateur in 2017. While Sagoo finished in T33, Urs tied for 37th place with Vani Kapoor and Astha Madan at 7-over 295.
Morgan started the day in a three-way tie at the top with Givens and Larsen. Birdies at the third and fourth afforded her a two-stroke cushion. But as the field made the turn, her lead evaporated and a bogey at the 11th opened up the contest again.
The Welshwoman made a birdie at the 13th to regain a share of the lead as the women at the front continued to go back and forth. Wolf added to the excitement with a terrific approach at the 17th that left her less than five feet from the pin.
But the contest fizzled out when Wolf found the water again with her approach at the 18th. Morgan kept her end of the bargain, playing out a steady par to clinch her maiden victory.
“It’s taken me 18 years and it’s a mixture of excitement and relief that finally I have done it. I didn’t look at the scoreboard until the 18th green because I knew anything could happen. I knew I was doing fairly well, because I was playing well, but I kept to myself and let it happen,” said Morgan.
“I decided today I would just play my game and not worry about one anyone else was doing. I had the chance to win here three years ago but got too caught up in what was going on, so I needed to keep my head down.”
DLF has been a happy hunting ground for Morgan, who is among a handful of women to have played each of the editions since the event became part of the LET calendar. Victory came after four top 10 finishes in nine outings and the 44-year-old was over the moon for finally crossing the hurdle and turning a winner.