Hitaashee finishes superb third at Singapore Ladies Masters golf

Singapore, Jun 16 (PTI) India’s Hitaashee Bakshi logged her best international result as she finished sole third at the USD 100,000 Singapore Ladies Masters golf tournament, an event sanctioned by the China LPGA, here on Sunday.

It was the best result by an Indian at the event.

Hitaashee shot 1-under 71, her second under par round, and totalled 4-under 212 for 54 holes at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

Hitaashee, who began the final day in Tied-5th place, displayed remarkable patience on a tough final day to finish third behind the winner, China’s 17-year-old Runzhi Pang (72) at 7-under. Fellow Chinese Cai Danlin (74) was second at 6-under.

It was the maiden pro win for the 17-year-old Runzhi, who started the final round one behind Cai, but finished one ahead to grab the title.

She braved the heat, humidity, and fatigue to win by one shot after surviving a tense closing stretch where she dropped two shots in her last five holes. However, her even-par 72 was just enough to seal the victory in a week that had numerous weather interruptions.

Amateur Mahreen Bhatia, making a cut in her maiden start in a pro event outside India, shot a third straight 76 despite carrying the bag herself for a brief period after her caddie fell sick after the second hole. Her mother, Roohi took over as caddie for the last 14 holes.

After completing the second round this morning, the final round, played with a shotgun start to ensure 54 holes, ended in fading light.

Hitaashee, who leads the Hero Order of Merit on her home Tour, capped an eight-week stretch with four Top-20s – three on Thailand LPGA and one in the Philippines besides a mini tour event in Thailand. She rounded off with a superb third place in Singapore.

In the shotgun start Hitaashee, who started from the second hole, parred the first four before dropping a shot on the sixth, her fifth hole, when the ball ricocheted off the bunker wall and went long. She got the shot back on the next hole, the seventh with an eight-foot birdie.

“Then followed a string of 10 frustrating pars but I stayed patient before holing a putt from just under 10 feet on the 18th, my 17th hole,” she said.

It was her second birdie of the day and helped her finish solo third.

“I have learnt so much in the last two months and this week was tough with all the stoppages and Laguna is a difficult course. I am proud of the way I handled myself,” said Hitaashee.

“I fly straight to Bengaluru and play a practice round and the three-day tournament from Tuesday on the Hero WPG Tour.

“I am grateful to the Organiser, Lyn Yeo, for giving me an invitation to play here. It was a great experience, and the course was world class,” she said.

“The biggest challenge for me was the second day, when I played 28 holes despite frequent stoppages. I came to the course at 5.30 am and left at past 7.30 pm, but thankfully I finished the second round on Saturday itself.” On Saturday, she was 1-under for her remaining 10 holes from the first round and 4-under for the second round, which ended with a 3-putt bogey.

With a tired but happy mother beside her, Hitaashee added, “After 28 holes a day earlier, the 18 on the final day felt easier despite the pressure.” The 15-year-old Mahreen, a medallist at US Kids European and World Championships, said, “It was wonderful to make the cut in a pro event, my first outside India. I was hoping to better 76-76 from the first two days. But my caddie fell sick. I took the bag for two holes before my mother took over the job.”

Source: PTI News


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