Rookie Ridhima and in-form Tvesa to battle it out in 17th leg of Hero WPG Tour

NOIDA, November 29: Rookie Ridhima Dilawari put herself in a position to bag her first title as a professional, while Tvesa Malik made a strong comeback in the second round to set up a keen tussle for the top honours in the 17th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour.

Ridhima, who turned out for India at the Asian Games in Jakarta and then decided to take a plunge into the pro ranks, is playing only her third event on the Hero WPG Tour, but has shown enough signs of maturity. She shot three-over 75 on a day when only Order of Merit leader Tvesa Malik (72) carded par or better. Ridhima is five-over 149 and leads Tvesa by one shot.

Smriti Mehra, who led on the first day, had a rough second round when she dropped four bogeys in a span of five holes. She ended up with a seven-over 79 and slipped to Tied-third place alongside Siddhi Kapoor (74) and Millie Saroha (77).

Ridhima opened the day with a birdie on the first and added two more on fifth and 17th, while she dropped bogeys on third, fourth and sixth and further on ninth, tenth and 12th.

Tvesa, who had a disappointing 78 on the first day, showed why she has been so consistent and a winner four times this year, as she played steady golf with two birdies and two bogeys. She bogeyed third and sixth, made up with birdies on ninth and 13th and parred the rest.

Siddhi Kapoor had one birdie against three bogeys in her 74, while Millie had three birdies but also dropped six bogeys and a double on the Par-5 first hole.

Amandeep Drall (77) and Gursimar Badwal (78) occupied the sixth and seventh places, while Saaniya Sharma on a comeback from injury enjoyed a solid round of 74 after a first round 81. Saaniya is Tied-eighth alongside Afshan Fatima (78) and Neha Tripathi (79).

The final day’s action will begin with Komal Chaudhary, Mehar Atwal and Khushi Khanijau in the first group, followed by amateur Diksha Dagar, Vaishavi SInha and Neha Tripathi. The third group has Afshan Fatima, Saaniya Sharma and Gursimar Badwal, while the penultimate group will see Amandeep Drall, Smriti Mehra and Millie Saroha play together.

The final group promises an interesting battle with Ridhima Dilawari looking for her maiden professional title, going out with Tvesa Malik, a shot behind and searching for her fifth success this season, and Siddhi Kapoor.