Avani holds her own to add another feather to cap

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Avani Prashanth with the winner's cheque at the Panckula Golf Club on Friday.
Avani Prashanth with the winner's cheque at the Panckula Golf Club on Friday.

Amateur Avani Prashanth won her second title of the season as she held off the seasoned Amandeep Drall by a shot to win the 11th leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Panchkula Golf Club.

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Avani and Amandeep played even par rounds, which helped Avani stay ahead to emerge victor. Avani totalled 2-under 214, while Amandeep aggregated 1-under 215.

Three players, Pranavi Urs (76), Jahanvi Bakshi (73) and Vani Kapoor (73) were tied for third place at 4-over 219. Seher Atwal (75) was sixth at 221 and Rhea Jha (73) was seventh.

Saaniya Sharma, amateur Kriti Chowhan and Hitaashee Bakshi occupied the eighth to 10th places.

Avani, who is playing both the Hero WPGT circuit and amateur tours, won the third leg in Mumbai and was also runner-up at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram in the eighth leg and was again second in the 10th leg last week in Chandigarh. So, the win in the 11th Leg was even more sweet.

Another piece of cheerful news was that Avani’s 66 in the second round, as also that of Saaniya were confirmed as the ladies’ scoring record at the Panchkula Golf Club.

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Starting the final day one shot behind Avani, Amandeep bridged the narrow gap with a birdie on the second hole. However, a dropped shot on par-5 fifth gave the lead back to Avani, who parred the first six holes.

Avani landed her first birdie on the seventh but gave away that gain on the next hole. So, when the players reached the turn, Avani was still one ahead. The others had been way behind, and the contest was now between Avani and Amandeep.

On the back nine, while Avani birdied 11th and 12th, Amandeep birdied 11th and bogeyed 12th. That meant Avani was now three shots clear.

There was another twist as Avani dropped shots on par-3 13th and par-4 15th, while Amandeep birdied 15th to pull level with the young amateur.

With two holes left, it was now about holding nerve. Amandeep bogeyed the 17th, while Avani parred the 17th and 18th and won the title.

Pranavi had a disappointing final day as she bogeyed first and then double bogeyed the par-5 seventh. On the back nine she had three bogeys in a row on 15th, 16th and 17th. Her two birdies of the day were on fifth and sixth as she carded 76 and fell into a tie for third with Vani and Jahanvi.

Saaniya, who opened with 79 and then had a superb 66 in the second round, again went to 78 to fall to eighth.

Amandeep continues to lead the Hero Order of Merit, while Vani remains second.

Amandeep has now won Rs 15,01,900, while Vani has amassed Rs 13,00,500. Jahanvi became the third player to cross the Rs 10 lakh mark as she has earned Rs 10,67,733.

WGAI

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