Vani Kapoor cruised to her first professional title at the Prestige Golfshire course here on Thursday, winning the third leg of the Hero-WGAI women’s pro tour by a thumping eight-shot margin. The 18-year-old hit one-under 71 to finish with a three-day total of 219.

Behind her was Neha Tripathi (227), who rallied to relegate the veteran Smriti Mehra (229) into third.

Dream come true

“It was my dream to stand here with the big cheque,” said Vani, who had won on the tour last year (Golden Greens), albeit as an amateur.

“I wanted to win by 10 shots. I couldn’t do that but it’s okay.”

Leading by four strokes overnight from Smriti and the amateur Aditi Ashok, Vani played in stark contrast to her partners, finding the middle of the fairways with striking regularity.

Her two birdies of the round came on the fifth and the ninth, the latter accomplished with a fine putt from eight feet.

The Delhi girl remained bogey-free till the penultimate hole, where she three-putted on the par three.

“I wanted to shoot a bogey-free round. It (the bogey) was because of that pressure,” she admitted afterwards.

Vani, the only player to manage a sub par round (twice she did it) during the competition, pocketed a cheque for Rs.1,41,250.

The Hero-WGAI pro tour travels to Srinagar next week for the fourth leg.

Final scores (top six):

Vani Kapoor (71, 77, 71) 219; Neha Tripathi (77, 77, 73) 227; Smriti Mehra (76, 76, 77) 229; Nalini Singh Siwach (74, 80, 76) 230; Saaniya Sharma (76, 81, 75) 232; Aditi Ashok (A) (74, 78, 82) 234.

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