Kolkata, India: Diksha Dagar continued her hot streak to score a shock victory in the 2015 Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship.
One week after winning the Indian Golf Union [IGU] West Bengal Ladies Amateur Championship, left-handed Dagar upstaged her more fancied rivals at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club in the 12th leg of the record-breaking 2015-2016 Faldo Series Asia season.
Making a mockery of her lowly 2,257th position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in which she is the 17th highest Indian, Dagar overturned a five-stroke overnight deficit to stun her rivals.
Following a pair of 76s, Dagar was a model of consistency during a final-round one-over-par 73 that contained two birdies and three bogeys. With a 54-hole aggregate of 225, she ended three strokes clear of runner-up Sifat Sagoo, both in the Under-16 Division and overall.
Third place overall went to Tvesa Malik, who appeared to be running away to victory after setting a hot pace with rounds of 73 and 74. But a mid-round stumble on the final day, when she dropped five shots in three holes, saw her lose her momentum – and the lead as she signed off with an 82.
Nonetheless, there was consolation for Malik as she retained her Girls’ Under-21 title to assure herself a return trip to Mission Hills China next March for the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
There, she will be looking to improve on her sixth-place finish in the ninth Grand Final seven months ago, where she had the distinction of ending as the highest-placed Indian girl.
Joining Malik and Dagar at Mission Hills will be Gaurika Bishnoi, who survived a nerve-jangling sudden-death play-off with Seher Atwal to win the Under-18 category.
Six-time Major champion Faldo congratulated the IGU on becoming the first country on the Faldo Series Asia schedule to stage separate qualifiers for boys and girls.
Jaydeep Chitlangia, President of the IGU, said: “The Faldo Series qualifier was first played in India in 2005. Since then, participation in this event has grown tremendously.
“This event has generated a lot of enthusiasm among junior golfers in India as it has given them an opportunity to qualify for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final where they compete with the best players in their age groups from around Asia.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Tokyo, Japan: The Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, one of Asia’s eldest and most respected sporting organisations, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.