Gauri Monga wins Southern India golf title

Bangalore, June 12 (IANS) Gauri Monga completed a winning comeback as she held on to her narrow lead and beat back a strong challenge from the in-form Gurbani Singh on the final day of the Usha IGU Southern India Ladies here on Wednesday.

Gauri carded a 73 to total three-over 219 and Gurbani (71) aggregated 220. It was Gauri’s first title in almost two years.

The winners were presented with the trophies by Ashwini Nachappa, former National champion sprinter and Arjuna Awardee.

Gauri, who has benefited from her appearances in Usha-IGU events over the past few years, has had a chequered career, which seemed to be taking off with her win at the All India Ladies title in 2010-11, when she also topped the Order of Merit.

But then a suspension by IGU cost her an Asian Games appearance and then her school-leaving examinations put a break on her career. Now she seems to have picked up again following a third place last week at Usha Karnataka Ladies and now finally a win. The win also made up for her second place behind Gurbani at the same event last year.

Gauri began the day one shot clear of Gursimar Badwal (76) and Tvesa Malik (75). But the latter two fell back even as Gurbani made a charge. Three behind Gauri at the start of the day, she came within one shot by the 11th. Both had carded one-under front nines and then Gauri bogeyed the 10th and Gurbani birdied the 11th. Gauri birdied the 15th and bogeyed the 16th as the gap stayed in her favour by one. A bogey by Gurbani on 17th put her back by two and despite a closing bogey by a tense Gauri, she pulled off a great win by one shot.

Astha Madan, the first round leader crept up to third place with a final round of 73 for a total of 221, while Tvesa Malik was fourth at 222.

Gursimar Badwal was fifth at 223 and Raksha Phadke was sixth at 226. Aditi Ashok, second in the last two events, was seventh despite a day’s best 71 and she totalled 227.

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