15-year-old Hitaashee Bakshi, younger of the teenage Bakshi sisters, clinched her maiden professional title in just her 2nd start on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour (Hero HWPGT) on Dec.18th at the final event of the season at Classic Golf & Country Club in Gurugram.
Hitaashee, shot rounds of 73-71-70 (2-under 214) to win the title by a margin of three-strokes over the in form overnight leader, Amandeep Drall, 71-72-74 (1-over 217) .
Hitaashee, a student of Army Public School – Dhaula Kuan, in Delhi, calls DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram, her home club where she trains under academy coach Anitya Chand.
Talking about her win, she said, It is said that to excel, everything has to fall in place which in my case it has – parents who appreciated passion in sports, an ideal coach, , the DLF Excellence Programme and an accommodating school, APS Dhaula Kuan, which allowed my long absence and excused me from school activities. I believe “Lead with Hard Work and Perseverance, success will follow”.
The event was played under chilly conditions with temperatures dipping to 5 degree celsius and fog which minimised the visibility for the pros. Vani Kapoor, who has 28 wins on the domestic tour, said, “ I’ve faced similar conditions in Spain and Finland was even worse, where it rained. In this cold weather you have to adapt your yardages as the ball flies less.”
Talking about her 2020 season in general, Vani added, “2020 was not one of the best years but it showed life In a different way. One without much competitive golf. On the positive side the lockdown taught me to spend more time with myself and not need company 24/7. So it was a different kind of growth on a personal level.”
Tvesa Malik, who had a successful rookie season on the Ladies European Tour, including a major appearance and a tied-10th finish at €200,000 Open de France in September, on being asked about the playing conditions, said, “I have actually played in similar conditions at LET Q School in Marrakech(Morocco) in December 2018. It’s definitely something you have to account for during the entire round as it affects your distances. I like to make sure I’ve given myself enough time to warm up at the range before I start my round in such weather conditions and while playing I’ll add a few yards extra to the yardages depending on how cold it is.”
Other notable players in the field included Seher Atwal (76-74-69) who finished joint third with Ridhima Dilawari (72-74-73) at 3-over 219, Astha Madan (76-72-72) tied-5th at 5-over 220, Neha Tripathi (75-72-74), Diksha Dagar (74-72-75) and Vani Kapoor finished tied-7th at 5-over 221, and Tvesa Malik (73-76-75) finished tied-13th at 8-over 224.
Amandeep capped a fine season with a second place and finished on top of the 2020 Hero Rankings with Rs.8,14,400 in earnings over. She had taken the top cheque in the previous two events.
Vani Kapoor finished second (Rs. 6,94,650) & Chandigarh’s Saaniya Sharma was third (Rs. 5,05,800).
The Hero WPGT will resume action from January 12th to 15th at Prestige Golfshire, Bengaluru.