WGAI Release – 14 December 2018: Neha Tripathi held her nerve in the closing stages as her nearest rival Afshan Fatima lapsed into a series of errors on the final day of the 18th and final leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Friday.
Neha, who started the day tied for the lead with Afshan, finished the third and final round with a card of one-over 73 and totaled four-over 220 to finish three clear of Afshan.
Afshan, who was very much in contention for the title till the midway stage of the back nine, dropped four bogeys in the last five holes, but also had a birdie in between on 17th. The loss of three strokes in a five-hole stretch cost her the chance of forcing Neha into a play-off. Afshan carded four-over 76 for an aggregate of seven-over 223.
Neha, who won earlier this year in the sixth leg at the Classic Golf Resort, won her second title to become the fourth player to win more than once this season.
Smriti Mehra (75), Gurismar Badwal (75) and Millie Saroha (76) finished in a tie for third place with identical totals of 220.
Neha and Afshan started the final day tied at three-over, but Neha quickly moved one shot ahead on the second hole while Afshan bogeyed the first. She did birdie the next, but so did Neha. The duo was once again tied as Neha dropped a shot on the par-4 fifth, but regained her slender lead as Afshan erred on the ninth for a bogey.
Neha bogeyed the tenth, which meant that scores were once again even. With five holes left to play, the two were still tied at four-over. Neha’s birdie on the Par-4 14th was the game changer, as Afshan bogeyed the same, resulting in a two-shot swing. Afshan dropped further shots on 15th and 16th and again on 18th, but also had a birdie on 17th.
Khushi Khanijau (75), Siddhi Kapoor (77) and Amandeep Drall (79) were tied for sixth place, while Suchitra Ramesh and Tavleen Batra rounded off the Top-10 for the event. Neha stayed third in the final Hero Order of Merit, which was topped by Tvesa Malik who missed her only domestic event of the season on account of being busy with the Qualifying School for the Ladies European Tour in Morocco. Tvesa Malik amassed Rs.15,89,200, while Amandeep Drall, who was Tied-sixth this week, was second with Rs.11,98,000. Neha was third with winnings of Rs.11,74,200. Gursimar Badwal was fourth, while Afshan Fatima moved up from sixth place to fifth place, one ahead of Gaurika Bishnoi, who skipped the event.
The 18th leg also signalled the end of a fine season, which saw four players win over Rs, 10 lakhs each.