Ridhima Dilawari earns a card to China LPGA

A brilliant 69 secured a top ten finish and a full card for 2020 on the China LPGA. Ridhima Dilawari emulates Sharmila Nicollet who earned the same card in 2018

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Ridhima Dilawari - Pic: Sirikit Cup

18 January 2020: A final round 69 earned Ridhima Dilawari a 7th place finish in the final stage of qualifying school, gaining a full card for 2020 to play on the China LPGA. Beginning this season, the LET Access Series and China LPGA have been merged too, which means the young Indian could forage her way into Europe or North America based on her performances this year on the Chinese circuit.

Dilawari emulates Sharmila Nicollet, who gained a card for 2018 on the same tour but was left tending to injuries for much of the season.

Yin Ruoning, an amateur from Shanghai topped the leaderboard, eking out a one-stroke victory over Japanese Natsumi Nakanishi and Riri Sadoyama. Thai girl Kultida Pramphun was also tied in second at 10-under 278. An even 72 did the winning trick for the Chinese amateur.

“I am glad to be the leader of the CLPGA Qualifying Tournament, but I am not so satisfied with my game today because I should have been better if I didn’t make those three bogeys,” said Yin, an Asian Games bronze medalist at the last edition in Indonesia.

“In 2020, I hope to win on the CLPGA Tour. Maybe I will turn pro after the 2020 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and Blue Bay Masters but not now.”

Dilawari shot 72, 67, 73 and 69 to secure a top ten finish and a full card for the year ahead. She had set herself up nicely with a five-under 67 on the second day and never quite looked back. Despite shooting over-par on Saturday, the 20-year-old from Delhi was never under pressure on Sunday.

The top 30 women this week were awarded a full card to the coming season on the China LPGA, which is a competitive women’s tour in its own right. But it also serves as a great stepping stone for aspiring Asians with their eyes set on the premier LPGA circuit. Aditi Ashok remains the lone Indian representative on the biggest tour in women’s golf.