Diksha aims for another big finish, eyes Order of Merit

Hilversum (The Netherlands), Sep 6 (PTI) India’s Diksha Dagar will aim to maintain her consistency at the Big Green Egg Open here while standing a chance to rise to the top of the Race to Costa Del Sol standings, also the Order of Merit for Ladies European Tour.

In order to do that, Diksha will have to win as France’s Celine Boutier and Spain’s Ana Pelaez Trivino — ranked first and second respectively — are missing the event.

Diksha, who won the Czech Ladies Open in June, has finished in top-10 in the last two starts — at the ISPS Handa Invitational and the Women’s Irish Open — which came on top of the best Major result by an Indian in Women’s Open.

There are still six events left in this season and one of them is at Diksha’s home, the Women’s Indian Open in October, which gives her a great chance to make a dash for the top honours in the Order of Merit.

The field of 126 players from 25 nations also includes India’s Avani Prashanth, Tvesa Malik, Vani Kapoor and Amandeep Drall, who was the runner-up at the Women’s Indian Open.

No Indian woman has won the Order of Merit on the LET and Diksha, in the form of her life, has a fair chance.

Last week, Diksha overtook Aditi Ashok with a seventh place finish in Irish Open.

Aditi, who led the Order of Merit in the initial months of the LET schedule, is now fourth. She has played only seven events on the LET to Dagar’s 20 starts.

A finish in the top-four of the LET Order of Merit could propel Diksha into the LPGA next year alongside Aditi, who has been dividing her time between the LET and LPGA.

Diksha said she changed equipment earlier in the season and has now settled in with it.

She also shared that playing with a free mind and with no expectations and pressure is helping her enjoy the game.

The left-hander plays with joy and is aggressive in her approach, though it might cost a few shots every now and then. But it also pays dividends as she often comes up with a string of birdies.

In her last 12 rounds, including four at the Women’s Open, Diksha has played 10 rounds at par or better.

She has been under in eight rounds and last week played all four rounds under par.

With her father Col Narender Dagar on the bag, the 22-year-old Diksha has defied odds in life too.

She overcame hearing and speaking problems to become one of the finest women golfers from India.

Avani, who plans to turn pro when she plays the LET Q-School later this year, has won the Queen Sirikit Cup and then became the first Indian woman to secure a win at the LET Access Tour — the second rung Tour for women in Europe.

Only two Indians have won titles on the main Ladies European Tour — four by Aditi and two by Diksha.

Tvesa, who struggled through 2022 and the first half of 2023, is making a comeback.

Last week was a big step as she made the cut on the line and went on to finish tied-36. It included a run of an eagle and three birdies in the last four holes of her third round.

Tvesa said she gained confidence from that along with a sponsor’s invite this week.

While Diksha and the other Indians are looking to make a big mark at the Big Green Egg Open, the home star Anne Van Dam will try and make amends for the close miss last week.

Van Dam, who led after 54 holes, had a heart-breaking loss in a play-off to Similla Soenderby. The cruel stroke for her was when her driver fell from the cart and snapped, while she was on way from the 18th green to the 18th tee for the first play-off hole.

The other big star in the way of Diksha and van Dam is Anna Nordqvist, the defending champion and highest ranked player in the Women’s World Golf Ranking.

Source: PTI News


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