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Neha Tripathi starts 2019 season with win

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Beginning the new season in a tremendous fashion, Neha Tripathi held on to her massive lead to script a five-shot win on the final day of the first Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, on Friday.

Neha shot a final round of one-over 72 to complete the week in one-under 212 and take home prize purse of Rs 1,44,000.

Amateur Pranavi Urs, who at one stage seemed to be inching close to the leader, ultimately finished second after carding one-under 70 and an aggregate of four-over 217.

Diksha Dagar (73) and Amandeep Drall (72) were third and fourth, while Afshan Fatima shot the day’s best score of two-under 69 to rise to fifth.

Starting the final day with a six-shot lead over the field, Neha did not have the best of starts as she double bogeyed the first. Playing in the lead group with her was Diksha, who parred the hole, and Pranavi, who birdied the hole for a three-shot swing. Pranavi, who was seven behind Neha at the start was now four behind.

When Diksha birdied the second and both Neha and Pranavi parred, Diksha moved to three within the lead.

Neha steadied herself for a string of pars till she had back-to-back bogeys on sixth and seventh. Fortunately for her, neither Pranavi nor Diksha found any birdies. In fact, Diksha dropped shots on fifth, sixth and ninth, while Pranavi bogeyed the eighth.

Neha turned in four-over 39, while Pranavi made the turn in even par 35 and Diksha was two-over 37. At this juncture with the final nine to play, Neha was two-over while Pranavi was five-over and that was the closest anyone came to Neha. Diksha had slipped to third at six-over.

On the back nine, Neha stepped up with a birdie on 10th and a superb eagle on the Par-5 12th. She did drop a shot on Par-4 14th, but a birdie on Par-3 16th ended any hopes her rivals may have had.

Pranavi did fight to get closer, but her three birdies were offset to some extent by two bogeys and she ended five behind Neha. Pranavi’s scorecard of one-under 70 was very creditable and it should hold her in good stead in the coming events on the amateur circuit too.

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