Sharmila ends 18-month title drought

Last Updated 25 January 2018, 14:41 IST

Sharmila Nicollet took a tough route to end her 18-month title drought as she beat Neha Tripathi in the play-off in the second leg of the 2018 Hero WPGT on Thursday.

Sharmila, whose last win came in August 2016 in Hyderabad, shot 2-under 68 despite a hiccup at the very end with bogeys on 17th and 18th.

Tripathi, who was two shots behind overnight leader Gursimar Badwal and two shots ahead of Sharmila, carded even par 70 to end in a tie at 4-over 214.

Sharmila made up for the bogeys with an eagle in the play-off for a fine win.

The 26-year-old lanky Bengalurean Sharmila pulled through in the play-off on the 18th for a well-deserved win.

"I allowed things to get to me at the end and I was disappointed to drop those bogeys (on 17th and 18th). However I just kept those thoughts aside in the play-off."

She added:"It is a big weight off my head, as I was winless for long and 2017 was a barren year for me. But now that period is over and I am happy with the progress in my game.

"I have worked very hard over last few months and I am confident of playing on Ladies Asian and Ladies European Tours also. I have a few events lined up including two in Australia and others."

Tvesa Malik (69) and Gursimar Badwal (74) were Tied-third at 216, while Gaurika Bishnoi finally found form and rhythm to card 2-under 68 and she was fifth at 218.

Sharmila played a strong front nine with four birdies against one bogey.

She birdied the second, fourth, sixth and eighth, but bogeyed the par-4 seventh to turn in three-under 32. On the back nine she was steady with six pars from 10th to 15th, before she birdied the 16th.

At that stage, she was two ahead of Neha, who had also birdied the 16th.

Neha parred the last two while Sharmila dropped a shot each to end in a tie, but she managed to survive the play-off for a win. Sharmila playing her first event of 2018 picked up Rs. 1.44 lakh.

Chikka in tied-19

Bangalore golfer S Chikkarangappa was the best Indian at tied 19th after carding two-under 69 in the first round of the USD 750,000 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open.

Thailand's Rattanon Wannasrichan delivered a short game masterclass by firing a flawless six-under-par 65 to set the early pace and take a two-shot lead.

Steady start for Shubhankar

Shubhankar Sharma was buoyed by an eagle at the start of the back nine to get home in 3-under 69 in the first round of the Omega Dubai Classic.

SSP Chawrasia fired a two-under 70, which included three birdies just after the turn on 10th, 13th and 14th.

(Published 25 January 2018, 14:36 IST)

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