Aramco Team Series golf: Pranavi off to fine start, lies fifth; Diksha placed T-16 in Florida

Tampa (USA), March 9 (IANS) Pranavi Urs and Diksha Dagar were off to a good start on the first day of the Aramco Team Series event in Tampa, Florida, USA. Pranavi, who was T-5 in her previous start in Morocco, shot 5-under 67 and was Tied-5th as four players shared the lead.

Pranavi was one shot behind the four leaders, Chloe Williams of Wales, Kim Metraux of Switzerland, the defending individual champion Carlota Ciganda of Spain and American Marina Alex. The four leaders shot 6-under 66 each. Diksha Dagar, third on the LET Order of Merit last season, shot 3-under 69 and was T-16, but only three shots behind the group of leaders.

Bengaluru’s Pranavi Urs, playing in her first season on the Ladies European had seven birdies against a single double bogey, while Diksha had five birdies against a double bogey. Diksha began with a double bogey and picked five birdies after that to finish 3-under and T-16 but only three behind the leaders.

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Team Law, which had Bronte Law alongside India’s Pranavi, the former AIG Women’s Open winner, Sophia Popov and amateur Jim Boddy, also put themselves in line for a team win. They shared the lead in team standings with Team Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, the defending team champion, who had Celine Hebron, Meghan MacLaren and amateur LuJain Omar Khalil, as teammates. The two teams shot 18-under-par. The team event will finish on the second day.

If Pranavi and her team win, she will become the second Indian after Diksha to do so. Diksha was part of the team that had a win in the Aramco Series London two years ago. Pranavi, winner of the Hero Order of Merit on her home Tour in 2022 with five wins, starting on the tenth, parred her first three holes before stringing five birdies in a row and turned in 5-under 31.

A sixth birdie on the first and yet another one on the fourth saw her rise to 7-under and into sole lead. Then came the disappointment with a double bogey on the sixth, her 15th hole of the day. She ended at 5-under and one behind the leaders.

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Pranavi said: “It definitely feels great to get off to a hot start and I feel like I’ve been doing that quite often for the past four rounds now, but I just couldn’t quite finish it.

“Five-under was not bad and I will take it. I was really good off the tee today and that put me in a good position to get good approaches, except for one which caused a double, but apart from that I have been hitting it well and putting has been good too.”

Diksha said, “I started with a double bogey and then I had a bad bounce and went into the bunker. I couldn’t come on to the green. Then I four-putted. I didn’t think about that too much. I stayed calm and focused on every shot. I then gained very good momentum, and I had to fight for it. It was a good recovery and it turned out very well. Three under par, but the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain.”

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–IANS

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