Sneha triumphs in third leg to end long wait for maiden win as a pro on Hero WPGT
Khel Today Bureau
Kolkata: Sneha Singh staged a brilliant rally on the back nine of the third leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, to finally find her way to the top of the podium for the first time as a professional.
Sneha, trailing Jasmine Shekar by two shots at the start of the day fell five behind by the turn. After making the turn she was on fire and found four birdies on the home stretch to set a clubhouse target of even par 216.
When Jasmine came to the 17th tee, she was 2-under for the day, but still one ahead of Sneha with two holes to go. She just needed two pars on the last two holes for a maiden win and deny Sneha yet again.
But the young Bengaluru golfer came under pressure and dropped a shot on 17th. She then parred the 18th for a card of 1-under 71. This meant both Sneha (69) and Jasmine (71) were tied at even par 216 and went into a play-off.
They went up and down the 18th three times before Sneha birdied the 18th on the third attempt after both had parred the hole in their first two play-off holes.
Amateur Saanvi Somu (72) was sole third, while another rookie pro, Kriti Chowhan, who has in the past finished runner-up as an amateur, shot 76 on the final day and finished fourth alongside Seher Atwal (73) at 6-over 222.
Sneha’s 69 was the best score of the week, and it ended her long wait for a win as a professional. After winning the eighth leg of the 2021 season as an amateur, she won the second leg of the 2022 Hero WPG Tour in Vishakhapatnam. But a win as pro had eluded her since then.
Sneha, who began the week with a disappointing 77 in the first round, made amends with a second round 70, which was also the best round of the second day.
On the final day, Sneha bogeyed the second and the third but birdied the fifth. When she made the turn, the Hyderabad golfer trailed rookie pro, Jasmine Shekar, by a whopping five shots with only the back nine left at the historic Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
Sneha then proceeded to turn the tables on her younger rival as she produced birdies on 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th without dropping any bogeys on the entire back nine.
Jasmine, a co-leader with favourite Amandeep Drall after the second round, seemed to be cruising to a win as she made two birdies against no bogeys on the front nine. Amandeep had fallen back with 5-over 41 for the front nine. Sneha was five behind and Amandeep was seven behind.
Even though Jasmine dropped just one shot, Sneha’s birdie blitz turned the tide and her own fortunes.
Amandeep Drall (78) with four bogeys and a double bogey and no birdies ended sixth, while Khushi Khanijau (79) was seventh and amateur Janneya Dasanniee (77) was eighth. Nayanika Sanga (74) and Shweta Mansingh, who was second after the first round, shot 78 in the final round. They were tied 10th.
Sneha Singh’s win also helped her sneak ahead of Seher Atwal to the top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Seher lies second as Jasmine Shekar moved up to third.
The first three legs have produced different winners with Seher Atwal taking the first and Pranavi Urs winning the second. Sneha will now seek a back-to-back win next week in the fourth leg at the Tollygunge Club.