Gauri claims crown

Delhiite captures Southern India title by one stroke

Gauri claims crown

 Talented youngster Gauri Monga announced her comeback to the circuit in fine style, annexing the Usha-IGU Southern India Ladies and Junior Golf Championship here on Wednesday.

Gauri, who played only in a handful of events after her All India Ladies Amateur Championship triumph in January 2011, carded a third successive 73 for a one-shot victory at a wind-swept Karnataka Golf Association.

Last season’s Order of Merit champion and current leader Gurbani Singh found her touch -- though a little too late -- shooting a fine one-under 71 to finish runner-up at 220 while round one pace-setter Astha Madan hit 73 to sign off third at 221.

“It feels good to win again,” said a delighted Gauri. “It’s been a long wait although I’ve hardly played any competitive golf in the last two years. With the season just having kick-started it’s a huge confidence booster for me.”

Forced to pull out of the season-opening Army Ladies Amateur Championship in April due to a bout of food poisoning and finishing third last week at the Karnataka Ladies Amateur Championship, the 19-year-old Gauri was determined to make amends this week.

Heading into the final round with a slender one-shot lead and a clutch of contenders breathing down her neck, Gauri hardly allowed the pressure to get to her despite going through a topsy-turvy ride. She kicked off her day with a bogey on the second hole but quickly wiped out the blemish with a brilliant 25-footer birdie on the third.

She made the turn with a birdie on the ninth but dropped a shot immediately at the par-4 10th. She rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 13th before dropping shots on the 16th and 18th. However, with a decent lead in her pocket, the two errors went unpunished.


Leading scores (after 54 holes): Ladies: 219: Gauri Monga (73, 73, 73); 220: Gurbani Singh (75, 74, 71); 221: Astha Madan (72, 76, 73); 222: Tvesa Malik (74, 73, 75); 223: Gursimar Badwal (74, 73, 76); 226: Raksha Phadke (74, 74, 78); 227: Aditi Ashok (76, 80, 71).

Category A: 220: Gurbani Singh; 221: Astha Madan; 222: Tvesa Malik; 227: Aditi Ashok; 228: Vrishali Sinha (77, 73, 78).

Category B: 229: Amrita Anand (73, 77, 79); 250: Gurjot Badwal (85, 78, 87); 253: Arshia Mahant (85, 88, 80).

Category C: 258: Sifat Sagoo (83, 86, 89); 263: Tanishka Kumar (91, 87, 85); 264: Esha Sharma (88, 91, 85).

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