Mina Harigae scores a 16-shot victory on the Cactus Tour; Anika Varma finishes in twelfth place

A stunning 61 helped Mina Harigae close the week at 23-under 203 to clinch a consummate victory in the 21st leg of the Cactus Tour. Anika Varma finished in 12th place with Nikita Arjun in 19th place.

Anika Varma - Pic: Noah Montgomery

12 June 2020: An irrepressible Mina Harigae played the Orange Tree golf course like a runaway train. She produced a final round 61 to record a sensational 16-stroke victory over amateur golfer Katherine Muzi. With Muzi only managing a 73 on Thursday, Harigae floated on her own at the top in a massively impressive performance. Anika Varma was also mighty impressive in her 72 to finish in twelfth place. The Indian is still an amateur. Nikita Arjun had a difficult day, shooting a 79 and settling for a 19th place finish.

Mina Harigae wins at Orange Tree - Pic: Jim Bochenek
Mina Harigae wins at Orange Tree – Pic: Jim Bochenek

Emilee Hoffman made an eagle on the par-5 13th hole as she made a 69 to secure T3 with amateur Meghan Royal. There were four amateurs in the top ten including Hailey Borja (70) in sixth place Carly Strole (69) in T8.

The birdies flew thick and fast for Harigae, who raced past the bend in just 31 strokes. Not very satiated, she went on to make six more birdies to record an 11-under 61 in the final round. Harigae finished with an overall score of 23-under from just three rounds.

Anika erased a bogey at the par-5 6th hole to make the turn at one-under. But a bogey at the par-3 15th hole wiped away her advantage, forcing her to settle for an even 72. But it was still her best performance of the week and will continue to give the young Indian confidence as she continues to make a good impression on American soil.

“It was a consistent day today, with 2 bogeys and 2 birdies,” Anika told Golfing Indian from Scottsdale. “The birdie putts I made were long and I was happy to make them.

“My favourite shot today was on the 18th hole,” she added. “I was stuck behind a tree with water on the left and bunkers on the right. I hit a low shot with my 4-hybrid, leaving it just 10 yards away from the pin. I was really happy about making par from a difficult position on the final hole for the week.”

Nikita Arjun endured a painful final round. Three bogeys in the first four holes meant that she was constantly chasing a recovery through the rest of her round. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be though, as she conceded another bogey on the ninth hole. It took her 41 strokes to navigate the first nine holes.

She dug deep to play far more controlled golf on the return stretch, but consecutive bogeys at the 13th and 14th dropped her further down the order. In the end, she took a 79 for an overall total of 10-over 226, six strokes adrift from Anika Varma.