Mumbai, India: Gaurika Bishnoi lists creating music as one of her off-course interests. It was appropriate, therefore, that the talented teenager should call the tune in the Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship.
Maintaining her recent outstanding form, the 16-year-old held off the challenge of fast-finishing Ridhima Dilawari to clinch top spot at the 6,121-yard, par-70 Bombay Presidency Golf Club course.
With a three-day total of 11-over-par 221, Bishnoi edged out Dilawari by a single stroke in a nerve-jangling finale to the 15th leg of the record-breaking 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia season.
Her reward is a starting spot in the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, an R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills Shenzhen next March.
There she will be joined by Tvesa Malik [Under-21 winner] and Nishtha Madan [Under-18 winner].
The trio will be bidding to emulate their male compatriots Rashid Khan and Abhijit Chadha, both of whom have savoured success in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “Congratulations to Gaurika on her triumph. The quality of golf was outstanding and I’m sure the Indian qualifiers will be contending at Mission Hills early next year.”
In the absence of Aditi Ashok who withdrew at late notice due to injury, Bishnoi signalled her intent with an opening 74 to lie just one shot off the pace.
Thanks to a 71 on day two, Bishnoi, winner of the previous week’s Western Indian Ladies tournament, soared to the top of the leaderboard, six shots clear of second-placed Dilawari, her fellow national squad member.
But any thoughts Bishnoi may have had about a final-round stroll were quickly dispelled. After just five holes the duo were even, Dilawari two-under at that stage and Bishnoi three-over.
To her credit, Bishnoi retained her composure to open up a three-shot lead at the turn. Once more, though, Dilawari battled back, reducing the deficit to one shot with five holes remaining.
From that point the players could not be separated, both parring their way home to leave Bishnoi a deserving winner.
Supported by The R&A, ISPS and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and is made up of a minimum of 20 championships.