Jahanvi Bakshi edges past Avani Prashanth to clinch title

Jahanvi Bakshi clinched a steely one-stroke victory as her opponents - amateurs Avani Prashanth and Sneha Singh - came unstuck over the final stretch of the DLF Golf & Country Club

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03 September 2021: Jahanvi Bakshi is getting better by the week. The prodigal daughter, another in a deep line of students from the program at DLF, showed today that not only does she have the game, but also the nerve to win an absolute nail biter. Bakshi kept her wits about her despite a nervy double on the par-4 14th hole to shoot four straight pars and secure a one-shot victory over Avani Prashanth. Amateurs, Avani and Sneha Singh gave a great account of their potential, chasing Jahanvi to the very end at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

In the end, Jahanvi had just enough in the tank to secure her second victory in three starts. Her victories were punctuated only by a runner-up finish in Jaipur. In the final round, Jahanvi overcame a bogey at the second with a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole to ensure that she made the turn in even par. After driving from the tee, Jahanvi used a four-hybrid to reach the green. She was standing over a 25 footer, but she made light work of it, finding the centre of the cup with steely determination.

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But the contest was wide open at the turn. Both Avani, who made three birdies in six holes and Jahanvi were tied at 1-under as they made it past the bend. Sneha joined the duo soon after, with a birdie on the 10th hole. Unfortunately for the teenager from Hyderabad, she had a forgettable finish, conceding four strokes in three holes towards the end of the round to slip into third.

At the 14th, Sneha had made a birdie and Avani completed her par-putt when Jahanvi walked up to read the lines on a nine-footer. After a good week with the putter, she expected to drop it and stay ahead of her rivals. The two women had taken a knock at the 11th hole, leaving Jahanvi with the slight advantage over the home stretch. But Jahanvi watched in agony as the ball rolled past the cup. Her trauma intensified when she missed again, before finally putting the hole to rest with an untimely double on the card.

“It was a dramatic final round and all of us had chances,” acknowledged a relieved Jahanvi. “We were all locked 1-under at one point, playing in the group. I was just very focused, intent on staying even with the course as we reached the final nine.”

“The double at the 14th was an aberration. I missed from nine feet for par and eventually took a three-putt double. Even though it was a bad setback, I decided to remain focused on my shots. I am happy to win again, especially coming through an intense final round with two other quality golfers.”

But the teenaged golfer, the elder of a sister act which has Indian golf in raptures, claimed victory when Avani made bogey on the 18th hole to settle for second place. Sneha finished in third after a painful finish to another brilliant week for her on the WGAI circuit. Both Avani and Sneha are still amateurs, constantly making the pros sweat it out for victory. Avani won the third leg in Bombay this year, while Sneha emerged victories on the Noida Golf Course last year.

Seher Atwal got off to under par start on Wednesday (71), but scores of 77 & 82 since then left her taking fourth, a full thirtee strokes behind the winner. Jahanvi finished the week with scores of 73-70-74, 1-over 217. Avani was at 218, with Sneha at 219. There were just four scores under par this week – Sneha (69) and Seher (71) in the opening round & Jahanvi (70) and Avani (71) in the second round. The best score in the final round was a 74 by Jahanvi and Siddhi Kapoor.

Kapoor finished in fifth, with Gaurika Bishnoi in sixth. Oviya Reddi and Trimann Saluja finished the week tied in seventh ahead of a three way tie for ninth. That group featured Amateur Zara Anand (77), Afshan Fatima (79) and Hitaashee Bakshi (83).

The women proceed to the Golden Green Golf Club in Gurugram for the eighth leg of the Hero WPG Tour, next week.