Gaurika set to win the Hero Order of Merit
Gurugram, Nov 28 (PTI) The Order of Merit is still up for grabs as the women assemble for the final event of the 2017 Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour, with Gaurika Bishnoi emerging as the top contender.
Bishnoi, who has led for a good part of the season and is still in the lead, looks a hot favourite to emerge as the topper on the Order of Merit as the curtain falls on the 2017 season at the Classic Golf and Country Club.
The 19-year-old Rohtak-born golfer, who turned professional only in 2016, has been extremely consistent throughout the season. The 19-year-old Gaurika won only once in the third leg at Kolkata, but has finished second on four occasions and third on three occasions. She will now try and finish on a high with a final win to complete a successful season.
Amandeep Drall, who missed some events on account of her being busy with the Ladies European Tour events outside India, still has a chance to overhaul Gaurika and win the Order of Merit. For that, however, she would need to win the final event and hope that Gaurika does not finish higher than tied 5th.
For Amandeep Drall, too, it has been a great season, during which she has already won twice and finished runner-up on five occasions. A win in the final leg will give her a chance to cap a fine season.
It is now clear that the Hero order of Merit winner will be decided between Gaurika Bishnoi and Amandeep Drall, for the others are further down and would not be able to move to the top even with a win.
The final event will also present another talented youngster, 21-year-old Afshan Fatima, a chance to win her first title of the year. Fatima achieved her best finish at the previous 15th leg, where she finished third.
Neha Tripathi, who has had an up-and-down season, will be looking to finish on a winning note after dominating the 15th leg earlier this month. She won three times this year and was second once, but she finished outside the Top-5 far too many times to pose a challenge for the top spot.
A win in the last event would tie her with Vani Kapoor for the most wins in 2017. Vani Kapoor is skipping the final event.
Amandeep Drall will play with Ayesha Kapur and amateur Diksha Dagar in the first round and will tee off in the last group, while Tavleen Batra, Saaniya Sharma and Neha Tripathi will play in the second last group.
Amateur Ananya Barthakur, Gaurika Bishnoi and Smriti Mehra will play in the third group.
Afshan Fatima and Siddhi Kapoor will be the first to go out in a 2-ball, while Mehar Atwal and Gursimar Badwal will follow in the second group