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Gurbani outplays Gursimar; wins Usha All India Ladies title second time

SENIOR ANALYST
News 17 Dec 2012, 12:00 IST
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The prodigious Gurbani Singh underlined her status as the top amateur in the country as she regained her title of the Usha All India Ladies Matchplay title after a gap of three years. Three years after she became the youngest to win the All India Ladies title, Gurbani won the National Championships for the second time on Sunday.

Gurbani, now 16, outplayed Gursimar Badwal in the final that was to be played over 36 holes, but ended in just 27. Gurbani emerged a victor by 10 & 9.

The win in the Usha All India Ladies Championship capped a wonderful season for Gurbani, who won four titles during the year. She won the Usha Southern India and Usha Western India titles besides the Usha West Bengal Ladies Open, during which she carded a record-breaking six-under 64.

The Trophy for the Championships, which was being held for the 96th time, was given away by Indian women’s boxing legend and Olympic bronze medalist, MC Marykom. Also present at the function was Usha’s Co-Chairman, Mr. Siddharth Shriram, a great promoter of women’s amateur golf.

Having beaten her arch-rival Aditi Ashok in the semi-finals, Gurbani was heavily favoured, but even then Gursimar was expected to put up a closer fight.

“Winning the Usha All India title is always a matter of great pride and I am so proud to have done it a second time,” said Gurbani, one of the most successful amateur players in India.

The highest ranked Indian woman in world amateur rankings and the only one inside top-100, Gurbani played the 2010 Asian Games and was the playing captain of the first Indian team at the Espirito Santo, the Women’s World Amateur Team golf championships. Among her many wins, Gurbani is also the winner of the Evian Masters Junior Cup in 2010, the 2011 Sri Lanka Open and the 2012 Asia-Pacific Juniors. She has represented India in nearly 25 international competitions. In 2009 she became the youngest ever to have won the All India Ladies Matchplay at 13.

Last month Gurbani also made the cut, as Aditi Ashok finished in the top-10, at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, a professional event
co-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and the Women’s Golf Association of India. Gurbani began the final in a whirlwind manner, winning the second, third, fifth and sixth to go 4-up and put the pressure on Gursimar, who managed to halve the next four holes before winning her first of the day on 11th. The lead was now three, but Gurbani once again stepped up the momentum and won three holes in a row from 12th to 14 to go six-up.

Gursimar once again tried hard winning the 15th and 16th, but Gurbani won the 18th again to move five-up after the first 18 holes in the 36-hole final.

Into the second session, Gurbani never relented and won the third and then four holes in a row from fifth to the eighth. At that stage
Gurbani was 10-up with 10 to go. Theoretically, Gusimar had to win each of the remaining 10 to catch up, but with the ninth being halved the match was over 10 & 9 in Gurbani’s favour.

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