Kolkata, Dec 9:Ridhima Dilawari flirted with danger through the final day but in the end managed to escape to victory despite a triple bogey on the final hole of the third round of the 14th Leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour at the Tollygunge Club. Time and again she fell back only to fight back before holding on for a second title in 2021.
Ridhima, who was Tied-second overnight, birdied the 16th and 17th and led by four when she came to the finishing Par-3 18th. She shot 4-over 74 for a total of 4-over 220 and won by one shot over Saaniya Sharma (75) and by two over Lakhmehar Pardesi (77).
Ridhima was helped by the cushion of a four-shot lead when she came to the 18th. Her closest rival, Saaniya Sharna, who had an up-and-down round of 75, managed only a par.
The leader of the first two rounds, Lakhmehar Pardesi was unable to find the form of first two days and could not land a single birdie. Her seven bogeys meant 7-over 77 and that dashed her hopes of a second career title, and also the second one of the year.
Ridhima, who had won the opening leg in 2021 in January, thus added a second title. She began on a nervous note with bogeys on first and third and fell behind Lakhmehar and Saaniya. Then Lakhmehar and Saaniya bogeyed fourth and fifth to allow Ridhima, who parred the two holes, back into the frame.
Ridhima grabbed her chance by landing birdies on seventh and 10th. Then came the choppy part with three bogeys on 11th, 14th and 15th, but once again Ridhima clawed her way back with birdies on 16th and 17th. The drama did not end there as Ridhima was again in danger of losing the lead and with it the title with a triple bogey. However, on this occasion she held on and holes ran out for her rivals.
Ridhima had four birdies against five bogeys and a triple, while Saaniya totalled 11-over 221 and in the final round had two birdies against five bogeys and a double. Lakhmehar had seven bogeys and no birdies and a three-day total of 12-over 222.
Jyotsana Singh (74) was a distant fourth at 227 and amateur Nishna Patel (73) was fifth at 228 as yet another amateur Zara Anand (76) was Tied-sixth with Shweta Mansingh (80) at 230.
Anisha Agarwalla (72), who shot the best round of the day, was Tied-eighth with amateur Smriti Bhargava (78) at 232 and amateur Jahnavi Prakhya (79) was 10th at 233.
Despite the win Ridhima was seventh on the Hero Order of Merit, which has been combined for 2020 and 2021. Ridhima won once in 2020 and twice in 2021. The leader is Amandeep Drall followed by Vani Kapoor and Jahanvi Bakshi.
The 15th and final leg of the Hero WPGT 2021 will be held next week at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
Ridhima Dilawari receiving winner's award from Mr. Sanjeev Mehra, Sr. Member-KGA