Diksha Dagar wins the South African Women's Open
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Course: Westlake Golf Club
Prize Fund: R 2,000,000
Defending Champion: Ashleigh Buhai -9
Diksha Dagar from India has won the Womens South African Open on her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour. She fired a closing round of 69 to beat home favorite Lee-Anne Pace by 1 shot.
Dagar, who finished 5th last week in Australia, didn't get off to the best start opening up with a 76 in blowy conditions. However, the rookie would bounce back in round 2 with the low round of the day (66). She headed into the final day trailing Pace by 2 shots, however, she fired her 2nd bogey free round in a row and birdied 15 with a long putt before chipping in to birdie 16 as she went onto win by 1 after Pace had made bogey on 17.
The 18-year-old left-hander from New Delhi plays with a cochlear implant that helps her to hear at close-to-normal levels. Both her and her brother are profoundly deaf. Diksha was one of the medal winners as a part of the Indian delegation at the 2017 Summer Deaf Olympics, where she clinched a silver medal in the women's individual golf event.
Fellow Ladies European Tour rookie Esther Henseleit of Germany and Michele Thomson shared third on three-under. Carly Booth continued her good start to the season finishing 5th alongside Lydia Hall from Wales.
After her win Dagar said, “I just went out today trying to play my normal game, I really didn’t expect to win, but it happened and I am very happy. I got two lucky breaks towards the end, with a long birdie putt on 15 and then the chip-in on 16. Normally I would just try to chip it close and make the par putt, but this time I had a feeling I could do it and it went in.”
Lee-Anne Pace was not too upset at blowing her lead and after her round she said “Diksha played great and didn’t make a mistake the whole day. I knew that I had to make birdies to win and unfortunately I left one short at 16 and then missed a par putt at 17. I’m not too disappointed because I played great golf, but I made two mistakes and they cost me the tournament.”
The Final Leaderboard
Marianne Skarpnord from Norway still leads the Order of Merit, but Diksha Dagar has risen to 4th place after 5 events. Dagar has moved to the top of the rookie of the year race with Esther Henseleit trailing her in 2nd place.
Order of Merit
Ashleigh Buhai 8th
Meghan Maclaren 8th
Karolin Lampert 15th
Kajal Mistry 30th
Shot of the Day Charlotte Thompson holes out for Eagle