Marseille Mademoiselle: Chevalier Wins Hero Women’s Indian Open

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French Rookie Camille Chevalier Upstages Michele Thomson Of Scotland To Clinch Maiden Hero Women’s Indian Open Crown

L-R: Aakash Ohri (Executive Director – DLF Home Developers), WGAI President Kavita Singh, 2017 Hero Women’s Indian Open winner Camille Chevalier, Hero MotoCorp CMD Pawan Munjal and LET chairman Mark Lichtenhein

The 11th edition of the US$ 400,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open added a third successive rookie to its illustrious list of champions when France’s Camille Chevalier put on a valiant effort to snatch the coveted title from overnight leader Michele Thomson of Scotland. The win also helped a ‘stressed’ Camille secure her playing rights on the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the next two seasons.

“This win is super special. I really didn’t think about winning. I was just trying to play well on every shot and stick to my game and keep my concentration. I wasn’t thinking about Michele’s game,” an excited Camille told reporters after birdying the last two holes to bag US$ 60,000 as prize money. Her overall tally read 12-under 204 (68-69-67).

“I was more concerned about keeping my card for the LET next year, because I was border-line, so I’m really happy to be keeping my card because I was so stressed about it,” added the 23-year-old from Marseille, France.

France’s Camille Chevalier holes a crucial birdie on the 17th hole to level scores with leader Michele Thomson of Scotland

The Frenchwoman began the final round three strokes behind former policewoman Michele, who had shattered the DLF Golf & Country Club’s course record by a massive three strokes in Round 2. But a cavalier approach coupled with a strategy to create birdie chances tilted the scales in her favour.

Earlier, the Scot had built a 7-shot lead in her front nine to raise expectations of a win but a massive meltdown on the finishing stretch – where the 29-year-old dropped back-to-back bogeys on the turn along with a heartbreaking double bogey on the 14th to reduce the lead to one. Camille then upped the ante by sinking 5 birdies in the last 8 holes including back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th. The duel was decided by the approach shot on the finishing hole, where the Frenchwoman’s ball caught the slope to land within 3 feet.

Michele had no option but to applaud her opponent. “The putter went cold on the back nine but I can’t take anything away from Camille. She played really well and congratulations to her. I will take back a lot of positives, and will try and do one better next time,” said Michele.

Among Indians, local pro Vani Kapoor put up a brave performance to finish tied sixth. Defending champion Aditi Ashok was the next best Indian on the leaderboard at 13th place with a 3-day score of 4-under 212.

(Read more in the December issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)

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