Chandigarh golfer Saaniya Sharma lost her lead and finished at tied-second along with Smriti Mehra on the concluding day of the 13th leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at Noida. Neha Tripathi turned in one of her best rounds of the season to rally from behind and win the title. It was the second title of the season for Neha, who had earlier captured the first leg at the start of the season.
The 25-year-old Kolkata golfer who seemed to have slipped and put herself out of the race with a round of 77 on the second day bounced back with a superb round of five-under 67.
Neha, who started the final round seven shots behind the second round leader, Chandigarh golfer Saaniya Sharma, sank three birdies in each half of the course against one sole bogey on the 10th hole in her score of 67 that gave her a total of one-over 217.
Saaniya went out of reckoning after two doubles on third and tenth holes besides which she had four other bogeys. Her only birdies came on two par-3s, the fifth and 16th. She carded 78 and ended in a tie for second alongside Smriti Mehra, whose title hopes were hit badly by three bogeys between 13th and 17th hole.
Neha had a flawless front nine with birdies on first, fifth and sixth and that helped her make up the lead Smriti had over her. On the back nine despite a dropped shot on 10th, she added birdies on 14th, 15th and 18th. Smriti was three shots clear of Neha at the start of the day but Neha made those up over the front nine as Smriti was even with one birdie and one bogey.
On the tenth as Neha bogeyed, Smriti went ahead by one. The tide turned as Smriti bogeyed 13th, 15th and 17th while Neha birdied the 14th, 15th and then for good measure added a final birdie on 18th to move from one behind to five ahead for her second title of the season. Gaurika Bishnoi (75) finished fourth and consolidated her lead at the top of the Order of Merit, as her closest rival, Amandeep Drall (77) had a disappointing week in 10thplace, for one of her lowest finishes of the season. Trisha Sunil (76) and Mehar Atwal (76) were fifth and sixth, while Afshan Fatima (77) finished at the seventh spot.