Young golfer Diksha Dagar fired four birdies in the last seven holes to card a highly creditable one-under 70 to lie tied 29th after the opening round of the ActewAGL Canberra Classic here Friday.
Dagar, who represented India at the 2018 Asian Games and is a medallist from the 2017 Summer Deaflympics, turned pro only this year, though she has won a pro title while being an amateur in India.
She bogeyed fourth, fifth and tenth, before sinking her first birdie on 11th hole at Royal Canberra Golf Club. That changed her fortunes as she birdied 13th, 15th and 18th. She was the best placed Indian at Tied-29th.
Vani Kapoor finished birdie-birdie in her round of 72 and was Tied-55th, while Amandeep Drall shot 73 and was T-68th.
Things did not go well for Tvesa Malik (76) and Astha Madan (77) and they would need low rounds on day 2 to make the cut.
American Amelia Lewis shot a flawless six-under par round of 65 in the morning wave to lead the chasing pack.
She carded six birdies and twelve pars and leads by a single shot over Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, Finland’s Noora Komulainen and Belgian Manon De Roey.
In a five-way tie for fifth place at four-under are France’s Celine Herbin, Scotland’s Carly Booth, Austria’s Sarah Schober, Slovenia’s Katja Pogacar and reigning NSW Women’s Open champion, Englishwoman Megan Maclaren.
West Australian star Hannah Green is a shot further back at three-under par, alongside impressive rookies Esther Henseleit, and Linnea Strom, and Anne Van Dam, Madelene Sagstrom, Yan Liu, Noemi Jimenez Martin, Camille Chevalier and Christine Wolf.
The reigning champion Jiyai Shin, who is looking for a hat-trick at Royal Canberra, opened with a two-under-par 70 and is four shots from the lead.