Gurugram, November 30: Amateurs Diksha Dagar and Ananya Barthakur maintained a good distance between themselves and the rest of the field as the 2017 season of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour approached its grand finale at the Classic Golf and Country Club.
Left-handed Diksha, who shot a brilliant 66 in the first round added a very steady 71 to move three shots into the lead over Ananya Barthakur (70).
Diksha is now 7-under 137 through 36 holes, while Ananya is four-under 140. The best professional is now Saaniya Sharma (70), the only other player to card a sub-par score on the second day. Saaniya at one-over 145 is eight behind Diksha and five behind Ananya.
Diksha had one bogey on par-5 third and a birdie on ninth on the way out. On the back stretch, she birdied par-4 12th and par-5 18th while dropping a shot on 13th.
Ananya, who was four behind after the first day looked like bridging the gap before a rough stretch on the back nine ruined her hopes. Ananya was three-under through the front nine and just one shot behind Diksha at the turn. But three bogeys in a span of four holes from 11th to 14th saw the gap widen to four again. However, with birdies on 15th and 17th Ananya was able to recover lost ground.
Neha Tripathi (74) was tied-3rd with Saaniya at 145, while Gaurika Bishnoi (74) was fifth at 147. Amandeep Drall (74) was sixth.
Barring a brilliant comeback from Amandeep, the top spot on the Hero Order of Merit seems to headed Gaurika’s way. Amandeep can win the Merit honours only if she wins the event and hope that Gaurika does not finish higher than Tied-5th. Facing a 11-shot deficit against the leader, Amandeep’s chances of winning the tournament are very slim, barring a miraculous final round.
Gursimar Badwal (78) is seventh at 150, while Smriti Mehra (75) is Tied-eighth alongside Ayesha Kapur (77), Mehar Atwal (77) and Siddhi Kapoor (77).
The final round will see amateur Diksha, gunning for her first pro title, play with fellow amateur Ananya and Saaniya Sharma. Neha Tripathi, Gaurika Bishnoi and Amandeep Drall will play together in the fourth group, and will be preceded by Ayesha Kapur, Smriti Meha and Gursimar Badwal in the third group.
137: Diksha Dagar (66+71)
140: Ananya Barthakur (70+70)
145: Saaniya Sharma (75+70); Neha Tripathi (71+74)
147: Gaurika Bishnoi (73+74)
148: Amandeep Drall (74+74)