The Thai recovers from her second-round lapse to shoot four-under and win by three strokes
Thidapa Suwannapura shot a four-under 68 in the final round on Saturday to win the seventh Women’s Indian Open in style at the Delhi Golf Club, her tally of eight-under 208 seeing her beat Frenchwoman Valentine Derrey by three shots.
The Thai’s impressive recovery from a two-over on Friday saw her claim her first title on the Ladies European Tour. The victory also made Suwannapura the second Thai to win the title, after three-time winner and defending champion Phatlum Pornanong, and brought her $45,000 in the $300,000 event.
England’s Hannah Burke and Thailand’s Saraporn Chamchoi were tied third at 212.
Local amateur Gauri Monga was tied fifth at 213 — the best show by an Indian in the tournament.
Suwannapura, who led the leader-board every single day, started with a birdie; she had four in the final round.
“I did not expect to do this well today because the course was very tough, and it was getting very difficult to keep the ball on the fairways,” Suwannapura said.
Her birdies — on the first, ninth, 13th and 14th holes — came off long putts. The first was a 20-footer and the one on the ninth hole, came from 26 feet.
The only time she was in trouble was on the 16th hole, when her drive rolled off the fairway and landed very close to the bushes.
“That was the toughest shot for me today. There were high trees in the path and I was not sure if I could shoot past them, and even if I did, it the ball would land on the green. I was lucky to par that hole,” she said.
Monga, meanwhile, said she was proud of her effort — the second best performance by an Indian in the competition behind Irina Brar’s and Meghna Bal’s fourth-place finish in the inaugural edition in 2007.
“I am happy with my consistency. On all three days, I was two-under after 17 holes, but the first day’s triple bogey on the last hole cost me.
“If someone had told me before the tournament that I would finish tied fifth I would not have believed them. I never really expected to finish so high in such a big tournament, so this has given me a lot of confidence,” she said.
Playing on her home course was a great advantage, she said, but added that she was also under pressure since everyone knew her and expected her to do well.
“But I had no expectations, and I think it actually helped since I was not at all stressed out. I just wanted to go out and play shot by shot. I guess I would have been more nervous if I were a pro,” she added.
The scores: 208: Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 66, 74, 68. 211: Valentine Derrey (Fra) 66, 75, 70. 212: Hannah Burke (Eng) 73, 71, 68, Saraporn Chamchoi (Tha) 73, 70, 69. 213: Beth Allen (USA) 74, 73, 66, Gauri Monga (Ind) 73, 70, 70, Charley Hull () 69, 72, 72. 215: Ye Na Chung (Kor) 73, 72, 70, Elina Nummenpaa (Fin) 72, 73, 70. 216: Pennapa Pulsawath (Tha) 73, 72, 71.