Dagar denies rivals once more at Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship
Mumbai, India (October 25): Left-handed Diksha Dagar retained her Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship title following an enthralling contest with close rivals Tvesa Malik and Sifat Sagoo.
With a three-round aggregate of nine-over-par 219 at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, Dagar finished one shot clear of Sagoo and two ahead of Malik.
It was the second year in succession that Dagar had secured a narrow victory in The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event from Sagoo and Malik.
Indeed, once more it went down to the wire with Dagar doing just enough to deny Sagoo and Malik, her team-mate at last month’s 27th Women's World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico.
Thanks to her latest success, Dagar has qualified for the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
Joining her there will be Malik (Girls’ Under-21 champion) and Amrita Anand (Girls’ Under-18 champion).
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It’s always exciting when you have a closely-fought battle at the top of the leaderboard.
“Although it was Diksha who took top place, she was pushed all the way by Sifat and Tvesa. It’s good to see such a healthy rivalry between the three of them. I’m sure they’ll all benefit from the experience of having been involved in such a tense contest.”
Thanks to an opening one-over 71 it was Malik who set the pace with Dagar (72) and Sagoo (73) hot on her heels. Following the second round, Malik and Dagar were locked together in joint first place on 146 with Sagoo just one shot back.
On the final day, Malik’s hopes suffered a major blow when she ran up an eight at the 479-yard fourth – the longest of the four par-fives on the course. She signed off with a 75 and was again left to ponder what might have been.
Dagar and Sagoo, meanwhile, found themselves in a share of the lead with nine holes remaining. Dagar edged in front with a birdie at 12 only to surrender that advantage with a bogey at 15.
Ultimately, the 201-yard, par-three 17th proved pivotal with Dagar securing a priceless par to her opponent’s bogey. With both girls making five at the long 18th it was Dagar who took the honours in the 12th leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season.
Supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships will be staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, both multiple Major winners.
Faldo Series India Girls’ Championship, leading final scores:
221 – Tvesa Malik (71-75-75)
248 – Sifat Alag (85-81-82)
235 – Amrita Anand (76-81-78)
238 – Ananya Datar (78-80-80)
241 – Roshni Yadav (73-88-80)
219 – Diksha Dagar (72-74-73)
220 – Sifat Sagoo (73-74-73)
230 – Anika Varma (80-74-76)