Laura Davies caps a dramatic week at women’s Indian Open golf

Saturday, November 13, 2010

GURGAON - Laura Davies of England capped a dramatic week that began with a lost golf bag but ended with a trophy and a handsome cheque at the Hero Honda Womens Indian Open 2010 at the DLF Golf and Country Club here Saturday.

Laura, the most decorated among active players on European Tour and one of the all-time legends of women golf, edged ahead in a four-woman play-off. The other three were South African Tandi Cunningham (73), the overnight leader, Thai Nontaya Srisawang (71) and Louise Friberg (70).

Sharmila Nicollet shot a brilliant 69, which was the day’s best round and moved up to tied 23rd, up from overnight tied 54th to emerge as the best Indian.

Sharmila was on a dream run with five birdies, two on front nine and three on the backstretch. She also dropped two bogeys. “It is my best finish as a pro and I am so happy with it,” said Sharmila, who has also won three titles on domestic womens Professional Golf Tour.

The top amateur was Vaishnavi Sinha of India (73-75-78) at 226 with Tanya Wadhwa second (75-76-82) at 233.

Nearing the end, any of the top half dozen players were in with a chance to win the title. But it was 47-year-old Davies, who emerged the winner, to grab the newly-crafted trophy and receive a cheque of $45,000 (euros 33,750).

Davies, who after beginning the week without her clubs, found the eagle on the last hole in regulation play to get into a four-way play-off, which was held once again on the 18th. In the play-off, Davies found another birdie, while Nontaya parred and the other two went into the water and ended with bogeys.

The four who tied at three-under 213 and went into the play-off had at least a birdie, but Davies forced herself into the party with an eagle for a round 70, that made up for a disappointing second round 78.

“I love the 18th. It gave me life, it gave me money and it gave me the title. I’ll remember this hole for a long, long time. It was my third win in 15 playoffs,” said Davies, who is now about Eur30,000 short of Pace’s earning on the Money List. “This means I have to win in Dubai to surpass Lee-Anne’s earnings,” said Davies.

The win kept alive Davies hopes of an eighth Order of Merit as she now takes the fight for the Henderson Money into the last stop at next month’s Euros 500,000 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in Dubai from Dec 8-11 at the Emirates Golf Club.

At the ‘Desert Storm’ as she calls the clash, Davies, who won her 79th title, will be involved in a duel with South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace to decide on the winner of the Henderson’s Money List. Lee-Anne still leading the race finished in a tie for 15th.

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