Chevalier seals tense victory

Frenchwoman produces strong finish to pip Thomson

Chevalier seals tense victory

 Rookie Camille Chevalier produced a sensational finish to clinch the Hero Women's Indian Open title at DLF Golf and Country Club on Sunday.  

The 23-year-old Frenchwoman had a level par front nine with a birdie and bogey, but picked five shots in last eight holes for a final round five-under 67 and a total of 12-under over three days. With her 18th hole birdie, she pipped overnight leader Michele Thomson by one stroke.

Thomson, who had set a course record with a second round 64, extended her domination till the 13th hole but bogeys on 10th and 11th forced her to split the lead with Chevalier who birdied 11th and 12th. The two were tied for the lead till the 17th hole, but the approach shot on the 18th from Chevalier proved to be the game changer. Thomson faced a longer birdie putt that ended beyond the hole. Chevalier birdied successfully, sparking celebrations and leaving Thomson in tears.

"I think making the final putt was the only time I felt nervous. It was 65 metres and I hit a 58-degree wedge over the water. I wanted to hit the slope so it would roll back and luckily it did around a metre from the flag. This is my first win on tour so I am really happy," said Chevalier who started the final round three strokes behind Thomson.

She became the third successive rookie professional to capture the title after Emily Kristine Pedersen and Aditi Ashok. At some distance, her local caddy Md Maruf Ali was lifted by his peers over her success.

"Maru was awesome, he was really great. He reads the greens perfectly and he didn't make any mistakes on any lines. I don't think I would have won without him," said Chevalier.

Chevalier, whose previous best finishes on tour were tied 16th in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and joint 17th in Thailand, now moves into first position on the LET Rookie Ranking and 17th on the Order of Merit.

Anne Van Dam, Carlota Ciganda and Sarah Kemp shared third place at eight-under 208.

Vani Kapoor, also an LET rookie, made the best Indian finish at tied sixth. It was also her career best performance on her home course. She had final round 72 to sign off at seven-under 209.

"I've been playing this tournament for the past seven years and have been waiting to have my week. I'd very happily take this. The final day didn't go as I expected it to. It was the first time I was in contention, and I was a bit nervous as well, but I'm really happy with the way I handled myself on the course," said Vani, who moved up to 73rd position on the Order of Merit heading to China.

In all, there were four Indian players who made the cut in the tournament. The 2016 champion Aditi Ashok was tied for 13th place while Pravani Urs was the leading amateur. Gaurika Bishnoi finished tied 44 with a final round 77, and four-over 220.

DH News Service

 


Leading scores (after 54 holes, Indian unless specified): 204: Camille Chevalier (68, 69, 67, Fra); 205: Michele Thomson (70, 64, 71, Sco); 208: Anne Van Dam (71, 70, 67, Ned), Carlota Ciganda (70, 68, 70, Esp), Sarah Kemp(71, 66, 71, Aus); 209: Klara Spilkova (69, 70, 70, Cze), Vani Kapoor (69, 68, 72), Celine Boutier (71, 66, 72, Fra); 210: Meghan Maclaren (69, 70, 71, Eng), Titiya Plucksataporn (71, 68, 71,  Tha).

 

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