Aditi wins title, Smriti takes cheque at Hero Women`s Pro golf
Bengaluru: Amateur Aditi Ashok made up for her loss in the first leg, beating veteran Smriti Mehra on the first play-off hole to win the third and final leg of Southern Swing in the Hero Women`s Professional Golf Tour on Thursday.
The 13-year-old Aditi shot a stunning four-under 66, the same as Smriti Mehra to tie for the top spot.
In the play-off Aditi parred the first play-off hole, while Smriti bogeyed to lose the title, but as the top pro she took the winner`s cheque.
Aditi, who became the youngest winner on the Hero Women`s pro Tour is the first amateur to win a title this season.
One of the leading amateurs, Aditi is seen as a promising star, who has also been playing on the Indian Golf Union`s amateur circuit. She was also part of the Indian team in Queen Sirikit Cup earlier this year.
For Aditi, this was the first big win in the company of top professionals and she said, "It feels nice to win at this level. I had the confidence as I had done well in the first leg and I have been playing well."
"I have grown up hearing about and seeing Simi (Smriti) play. She is an inspiration for women`s players and it is an amazing feeling to play with her and win the title."
While Aditi got the title, Smriti took the cheque. That also ended the Southern Swing and Smriti leads the Order of Merit.
Aditi had six birdies and two bogeys. Aditi had four birdies and no bogeys in the back nine. Aditi was two up with two go in regulation play, but the experienced Smriti caught up with two birdies on the closing holes, almost reminiscent of the last event, where she birdied last five holes to win the title. This time she got into play-off, which she lost.
Overnight co-leader Nalini Singh Siwach ended third with a round of 70. She was four shot behind at 208, while Neha Tripathi, winner of the first leg was fourth at 209.
Sharmila Nicollet, who set a course record of 65 on second day, faltered in the final round with a 73 and came fifth at 214.
Rani Sonti (75) and Saaniya Sharma (75) tied for sixth at 224.
The winners of the first two legs have been Neha Tripathi and Smriti Mehra and this is the final leg of the three-tournament Southern Swing of the Hero-KGA Women`s Pro Tour.