Gritty Diksha keeps lead at Irish Open as four Indians make cut

Dublin (Ireland), Sep 2 (PTI) In-form Indian golfer Diksha Dagar continued her march in Europe as she fired a 3-under 69 in the second round to hold on to her sole lead at the Women’s Irish Open.

Diksha produced a sensational finish with three birdies in the last four holes to add to her first round score of 7-under 65. She is currently 10-under and leads by one shot over three players — Netherland’s Anne Van Dam (69-66), Indian-American Gurleen Kaur (66-69) and Italian Emma Grechi (66-69).

Diksha led as many as four Indians into the weekend rounds. The others making the cut included Vani Kapoor (73-70) in T-45, Ridhima Dilawari (72-72) in T-51 and Tvesa Malik (73-72) in T59.

Amandeep Drall (75-74) was the only Indian to miss the cut, which fell at 1-over.

Despite not getting off to the best of starts as she had a bogey on the first hole, Diksha hung in. She got the shots back on the fifth and sixth.

On the second nine, a bogey on the 14th set her back. But she made a strong finish with birdies on the 15th, 17th and 18th for a back nine of 2-under 35 and a total of 69.

“Today, I struggled a little bit because I played very well yesterday. I handled it very well and finished with a respectable score of three-under,” Diskha said.

“On the 17th hole I had a long birdie putt, I thought ‘wow yes’ because I was feeling a little bad on 16 as I missed a birdie putt. I was targeting a respectable score of two or three-under.

“After making a birdie on 17, I had a fist pump and it made me feel confident and I attacked the flag on 18 and I had a very good putt left,” she added.

Diksha has had a great season with one win and five Top-10s and a career-best finish at the Women’s Open for the best result by an Indian at a Major at T-21.

She is lying fifth on LET’s Race to Costa Del Sol, which is the Order of Merit. The top four from the Merit list will get a LPGA card and the next 10 get a spot in the final stage of LPGA Q-School.

Anne Van Dam, the five-time LET winner, had an excellent round of 6-under 66. She had one bogey and seven birdies on her scorecard.

LET rookie Kaur, whose parents are of Indian origin, shot a 66 on the opening day and followed that up with a 3-under 69 on day two. She made a bogey on the fourth but bounced back with a birdie on the fifth before another dropped shot on the eighth.

However, a hole-out eagle on the ninth saw Kaur regain momentum and she rolled in birdies on 11th and 17th to have a total of nine-under-par.

France’s Grechi also backed up her opening round of 6-under with a round of 3-under which included three bogeys and six birdies.

France’s Anne-Lise Caudal sits in outright fifth place on 8-under-par after back-to-back rounds of 68.

Source: PTI News

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