Consistent Thidapa bags top honours at Hero Women’s Indian Open 2013
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 30: Thailand pro Thidapa Suwannapura maintained outright lead to win her maiden Ladies European Tour (LET) title at the seventh Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Thidapa didn’t lose her concentration and led throughout the day to shoot a bogey-free four-under 68 in the final round for an aggregate of eight-under 208. She scored a three-stroke victory over first-day joint leader Valentine Derrey of France, who ran short of her maiden LET victory after a two-under 70 on Saturday. “It’s an amazing thing to win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open. I didn’t think that I am going to win this tournament since this course is very tough. Even in the beginning of the round, I thought I didn’t have a strong chance. But I concentrated more on my game than other factors and won eventually,” said Thidapa.
Thidapa also ensured that the trophy remained in Thailand as last year it was her compatriot Pornanong Phatlum, who won her third Hero Women’s Indian Open title. Another Thai Saraporn Chamchoi made a late charge but a bogey on 16th crushed her title hopes as she finished third with Hannah Burke of England, who shot a fine 68. DGC amateur Gauri Monga entertained the local crowd with her consistent round of two-under 70 to finish tied fifth in the company of US veteran Beth Allen, who shot the day’s best round of six-under 66, and England sensation Charley Hull (70). They ended their campaign five strokes behind the winner Thidapa.
Gauri’s finish is India’s second-best performance at the Hero Women’s Indian Open after Meghna Bal and Irina Brar finished tied fourth in the first edition of the tournament in 2007.
Earlier in the day, Thidapa, one of the three Thai golfers to play on the Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA), received challenge from Derrey and Saraporn, but she didn’t let the lead slip away from her hands.
Thidapa was off to a flying start when she picked a birdie on the very first hole. The steady golfer continued her excellent form, firing another birdie on nine. Playing in her group, Valentine emerged as a strong threat to Thidapa. The Frenchwoman started the day one stroke behind Thidapa but caught up with the Thai girl with birdies on fourth and sixth. Valentine slipped back after dropping a shot on seventh. She, however, picked up a birdie on eighth, but managed only pars on the remaining holes finishing for the runners-up position.
Even as Valentine was making a charge, it was Saraporn, who also emerge as potential threat for her compatriot. Coming from behind, Saraporn, who started the day with a bogey on the first, knocked in two birdies in succession on eighth and ninth. She was not a factor till then, but the 21-year old shot into contention with three birdies in a row (13th, 14th and 15th) to join Thidapa in the lead. But just when it mattered the most, Saraporn fumbled and dropped her shot on the 16th to slip out of contention.
Thidapa, on the other hand held her nerve in crucial moments and shot birdies on 13th and 14th without dropping any shots thereafter ensuring her victory.
“I was so focused on my game that I didn’t know that I had missed only one fairway today and also made no bogey. I knew it only when Vatentine and my caddie told me. I didn’t not make a lot of mistakes and that helped me win here,” said Thidapa.
Thidapa has retained her LPGA card, but she wants to play on LET as well. “I will prefer LPGA to LET, but will play on the European tour whenever I have a week off,” she said.
208 - Thidapa Suwannapura (THA) 66 74 68
211 - Valentine Derrey (FRA) 66 75 70
212 - Hannah Burke (ENG) 73 71 68, Saraporn Chamchoi (THA) 73 70 69
213 - Charley Hull (ENG) 69 72 72, Gauri Monga (IND) 73 70 70, Beth Allen (USA) 74 73 66
215 - Elina Nummenpaa (FIN) 72 73 70, Ye Na Chung (KOR) 73 72 70
216 - Pennapa Pulsawath (THA) 73 72 71
217 - Klara Spilkova (CZE) 78 68 71, Maria Balikoeva (RUS) 73 74 70, Bo-Mi Suh (KOR) 70 75 72
218 - Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 75 72 71, Rungthiwa Pangjan (THA) 75 70 73