Tvesa Malik, playing on her home course at the DLF Golf and Country Club, climbed to the top of the leaderboard for the first time this season in the seventh leg of the Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour.
Tvesa, who had a none-too-happy season on the Ladies European Tour in 2022, looked determined as she has been shaking off the rust over the last two weeks. A week after losing in a play-off to Gaurika Bishnoi in the sixth leg of the Tour, Tvesa carded 4-under 68, her best round of the year, to take a one-shot lead into the final round.
Following up on her modest 74 on the first day, Tvesa with 68 moved to 2-under 142 and was one shot ahead of last week's winner, Gaurika Bishnoi (71-72).
Amateur Vidhatri Urs, fresh from her experience at the Queen Sirikit Cup where India finished second in the Philippines, and then playing at the Women's Amateur Asia Pacific in Singapore, showed good form with 1-under 71 and was lying sole third at even par 144.
Vani Kapoor (72-73) suffered three bogeys in the last five holes and was fourth while Ridhima Dilawari (73-74) and Asmitha Sathish (75-72) were tied for the fifth spot.
Tvesa, trying to play herself back into form, has improved with each outing. She birdied the second and then had back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth. She dropped a shot on seventh only to get another pair of birdies on eighth and ninth and she turned in a superb 4-under 32. On the back nine, she bogeyed the 10th and birdied the 17th for a day's work of 68.
Gaurika also had two sets of back-to-back birdies on eighth and ninth and then the 16th and 17th. However she dropped bogeys on first, third, 11th and 13th and finished even par and dropped from being an overnight co-leader to second place.
Vidhatri had five birdies against two bogeys and a double bogey and Vani Kapoor had three birdies and three of her four bogeys came on Par-5s as she carded 73.
Seher Atwal (76-73) with one birdie and one bogey on either side of the course was sole seventh, while another amateur, Anvvi Dahhiya (80-73) and Amandeep Drall (74-79), the runner-up at the Hero Women's Indian Open at the same course last year, were tied eighth.
Oviya Reddi (77-77) and Agrima Manral (75-79) were tied tenth.
Amandeep had a round to forge as she parred the whole of front nine and then had four bogeys in a row from 10th and closed with a triple bogey on 18th.
The cut fell at 161 and 23 players made the cut. Among the prominent names missing the cut were Saaniya Sharma and Hitaashee Bakshi.
( 477 Words)