19 March 2021: The wait may have felt longer than its temporal distance, but the reward for Tvesa Malik was the sweet taste of a much awaited victory. The lady from Gurugram took an uncomplicated path to the title, produced a languid 72 to secure a two-stroke victory over the prolific Jahanvi Bakshi, the winner of the fifth leg. Amateur Kriti Chowhan showed the power of her arsenal, producing four birdies in a brilliant 69 to finish the week as the top amateur. She had the only sub-par round on Friday.
The Bakshi sisters shot similar scores of 71 each as they settled on either side of Kriti, who finished third. Hitaashee Bakshi had two bogeys and a birdie, while Jahanvi opened the day two birdies before punctuating her challenge for the title with three bogeys. Scores of 69-71-71 meant that Jahanvi ended the week at one-over 211 in second place.
Tvesa started the day with a three-stroke advantage. The scent of victory tightens the muscles and teases the nerves, especially when you have waited for a while. Tvesa got off to a shaky start, bogeys at the 11th and 13th after a blemish free middle round was an ominous early warning of the bumpy ride awaiting the eventual winner. Tvesa did well to knock in the short putt for birdie on the par-5 17th hole, before making the turn for her final nine. Another bogey dented her card at the third, but Tvesa did well keep her calm and march steadily toward a well deserved win.
“It wasn’t my finest day on the golf course,” said the delighted golfer. “I was shaky at the start and the early bogeys left me feeling unsettled. I was hardly making a putt, and my only birdie was a three-footer on the 17th. The greens at Rambagh as slightly elevated and it was difficult to control the spin with the long irons trying to reach the greens. Overall though, very happy to have won again after a while.”
“We go into the summer break now,” added Tvesa. “I am looking forward to return to action on the Ladies European Tour. I hope that the South African Open happens as scheduled, will make my plans closer to the time.
“In terms of the game I feel like that it’s been good I’ve been making small changes, working a lot more on my scoring and trying to be able to convert lot more. On the days when its good it is really showing but some work still needs to be done.”
“I still think there’s a long way to go for my putting. I think I just need work to do but I’m still happy with the week even though I know today was not as good as I would have wanted to be. I would have liked to win on a better note. I think it was tricky day out there, not just for me but for everybody.”
“I’m just really pleased this week that I could get it done because it’s a win after a long, long time so I think I was really just hungry for that and I’m really glad I could make that happen.
I’m just going to keep this in mind going forward from here and hopefully just work on a few more things and get everything in order before the season in Europe starts.”
Amandeep Drall went into red briefly with a birdie on the sixth hole, but three bogeys (7, 11, 15) meant that she signed off on a 72 for a fifth place finish at 218. Ridhima Dilawari shot a birdie on the tenth to punctuate four bogeys on either stretch for her final round 77 to finish two strokes behind Amandeep in sixth place.
Vani Kapoor also took just 34 strokes on the front nine, like Kriti the lowest score on that stretch including two birdies. But a 39 on the back nine dropped her into seventh place at 221. After an even 70 on Thursday, Avani Prashanth slipped down the order with a 77 including six bogeys and a double on the final hole to concede amateur honours to Kriti and finish in 8th at 222.
Ananya Datar and Seher Atwal brought up the rear end of the top ten with scores of 75 and 76 respectively. Since resumption of tournament play in January this year, the WGAI has taken in six different winners – Ridhima in Bengaluru, Pranavi Urs in Chennai, Avani in Mumbai, Seher in Pune and Jahanvi in Gurugram followed by Tvesa this week. Three of them were first time winners – Avani, Seher and Jahanvi.
Amandeep Drall sits atop the Hero Order of Merit 2021, now a combined list for all the events played since 2020. Drall has entered 14 events and won two this season.