08 September, 2017: Saaniya Sharma capped a strong showing at the Hyderabad Golf Club with a final round 73 to clinch the title. Her victory in the eleventh leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour helped Saaniya climb to fourth in the Order of Merit classification. With Amandeep Drall and Simi Mehra settling for 75 and 76 respectively on their final round cards, Saaniya earned a comfortable four stroke victory over her closest rivals.
The win at the Hyderabad Golf Club is the first of her 2017 season with the WGAI in nine starts. The highlight of Saaniya’s week was a 69 in the second round that helped her draw away from the field.
Gursimar Badwal had a one shot lead at the end of the first round and a three stroke advantage over Saaniya. But scores of 73-79-76 were only enough for fourth place, eight behind the winner.
Amandeep Drall started her week with a 74, before adding scores of 73 and 76 to earn a second place finish in the beautiful setting of a course decorated by ancient Deccan tombs.
Simi Mehra finished the week in third, underlining her ability to compete with the best in the business well into her forties. Smriti continues to be one of the fittest women on the WGAI circuit.
Sonam Chugh is showing steady signs of progress, as she rounded off the top five.
But the week clearly belonged to Saaniya. She scored four bogeys and two birdies in the final round of the tournament to claim a comfortable, yet satisfying victory.
Siddhi Kapoor (76) ended sixth at 232. A shot behind her was Neha Tripiathi (76) at 233 and amateur Rhea P Sarvanan (78) was eighth. Trisha Sunil (80) was ninth at 234.
Afshan Fatima (80) experienced agony and ecstasy as she aced the par-3 seventh hole but had nine bogeys and a double bogey on her card, which had just one other birdie. She used a nine iron to see the ball disappear into the cup from 130 yards on the seventh.
Amandeep Drall is the new Hero Order of Merit leader, as the second place helped her inch ahead of the erstwhile leader, Gaurika Bishnoi. Amandeep’s second place cheque of Rs. 1,02,000 helped her to get to Rs. 8,77,750, while Gaurika is at Rs. 8,64,400. Gursimar Badwal is third with Rs. 6,85,200 and Saaniya Sharma with the winner’s cheque of Rs. 1,26,000 jumped up from sixth to fourth with Rs. 5,92,000. Neha Tripathi and Vani Kapoor occupy the fifth and sixth places.