20 October 2018: Golf is a funny old game. One hole, a bit of water and plenty of drama. Christine Wolf lost a bit of steel on the return stretch, got very wet on the 18th and changed the complexion of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. The Austrian conceded seven strokes on the back nine, including a quadruple nine at the 18th to end the day one adrift of Becky Morgan, Nicole Broch Larsen, Eleanor Givens. Wolf is at 3-under with Manon Molle and Felicity Johnson.
Three-way tie for the lead – Morgan, Larsen and Givens enjoy a narrow one stroke advantage
For a long time on Saturday, it felt as though Wolf would reach home with a comfortable three to four-stroke lead over the field. While she had an ominous slide on the back nine, her competitors got into a nice huddle on the leaderboard, setting the stage for an exciting finish tomorrow.
Morgan (68), Larsen (69) and Givens (70) took advantage of the miserable 77 from Wolf to ride into the 54-hole lead, albeit by just one stroke.
Indian hopes rest on Tvesa Malik
On the Indian front, Tvesa Malik remained the best-placed golfer, even par at T11. Tvesa gave fuel to Indian hopes before a tired stretch on the back nine compromised her chances. She moved up to T3 with a clean ride through the first nine holes but surrendered four strokes between the 10th & 15th to slide down the order.
Tvesa redeemed her hopes with a much-needed birdie at the 18th to end the day in T11. The 22-year-old is even par through 54 holes. Olivia Cowan, Noora Komulainen and Marianne Skarpnord are all ahead of Tvesa at 2-under, with Caroline Hedwall at -1.
Birdies at the 5th, 11th and 14th holes helped Ridhima Dilawari shoot one under 71 to join Gaurika Bishnoi in T19 at +1 through 54 holes. The latter shot 72 on Saturday in another action-packed round containing five each of birdies and bogeys.
Isabelle Boineau made the weekend on the number, halfway through packing her bags in the hotel room on Friday. The Frenchwoman started the third round at 7-over and after five hours of blemish free golf, was back in the hut with a 65 to her name. It was the round of the day, but it was Wolf that continued to hold sway at the top of the leaderboard.
Astha Madan turned the heat on during a back nine stretch that earned her four birdies over five holes. She posted a handy 70 to end the day at four over 220. Keeping her company through the day and on the leaderboard is a determined Vani Kapoor.
The Delhi golfer is making light of tendinitis in her arm to score a measured 70 in the third round. Like Astha, she too had five birdies in her round.
Diksha Dagar shot 73 with a birdie at the 18th hole to reach Sunday at 8-over. Sifat Sagoo also had a 73 to her name to place herself alongside Diksha. Pranavi Urs is keeping the two women company after making 74 in the third round, driven by a 32 stroke blitz through the back nine.
Pranavi was a precarious six over for her first nine holes before producing four straight birdies from the eleventh hole. She was bogey-free on her second nine.
Indian hopes for a place in the top ten will rest on the young shoulders of Gaurika, Ridhima and Tvesa as the three ladies set about looking for a low score to wrap up a good week.