Smriti finishes sixth, lauds upcoming Indian pro-golfers

March 28th, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by admin  


Gurgaon, March 28 (IANS) Tired but happy to be in top-10 was how golfer Smriti Mehra described the week at the end of the $120,000 DLF Women’s Indian Open, which ended here Friday. Smriti carded a final round of even par 72 and finished tied sixth with a total of two-over 218, her second successive top-10 finish on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.

Disappointed at not being able to challenge for the title, she agreed it was reasonably good finish and she would take it.

The title went to Thai girl Phatlum Pornanong, who shot an even par 72 and aggregated four-under 212 with rounds of 70, 70 and 72. She led from start to finish.

“It was great to win back to back and this takes away all the tiredness,” said the shy Thai girl, who hopes to strike it big in the US LPA Tour in the near future.

Wei Yun Jye of Chinese Taipei was second with a final round of 71, one of the five sub-par rounds during the day. Wei totalled even par 216 for a share of a second place, alongside Yuki Sakurai of Japan who carded 72.

Putting aside her own frustration, Smriti said she was happy for the rest of the field who not only fought the challenges of the “beautiful” course, but also the hot and humid weather, particularly in the last two days.

Talking about the DLF greens, Smriti said she liked them a lot. “They were fantastic and I would like to come here again and again. I also had with the others and they too liked the greens. In fact, the overall impact of the premier ladies event in the country has been good.”

Amateur and teenaged Tanya Wadhwa was the next best Indian at tied 19th with a total of 10-over 226 and a final round of 74. Holding out bright prospects for the future was Sharmila Nicollet, another teenaged amateur who aggregated 14-over 230 and was tied 26th, a great finish in an international tournament one so young.

“It’s good the women’s golf is catching up really well. In the next couple of years, you will see more and more women turning professional. In fact, I want most of them playing abroad as well. That’s where you really pick the finer points,” said Smriti. “Tanya is the pick of the lot.”

“Yes, we were all feeling a bit under weather for the last couple of days, but that’s part of the game. Overall the second edition went along the expected lines and I am happy to have finished sixth,” she said.

On today’s game, the country’s top women golfer said that she kept her intent of being aggressive all through the three days. “Today, in fact, I began aggressively to catch up with the leaders. But sometimes your luck deserts and you have to take it that way.”

After her tied ninth place on the second day, Smriti knew she had it in her to make it to the top. And in the front nine, she kept herself in the game but in the back nine she was getting tired. “I really felt tired at the turn and just about managed to keep myself going,” she added.

Smriti said she is confident of doing well as the season progresses.

“My eyes have taken long to spot them (reading the greens). I am learning the ropes and with the contact lens, I am able to pick the nuances of the greens abroad. My aim at the moment is to play as much as possible in order to be able to break into the top 50,” said Smriti.

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