Gurugram (Haryana) [India], Oct 24 (ANI): Olivia Cowan capped the weekend with a bang as she finished the final round with a solid 4-under 68 to win the Women’s Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club. For the 26-year-old German Cowan, it was her first win on the LET after no fewer than 27 top-10 finishes in 96 starts on the Tour.
Cowan totaled 13 under 275 and won by three shots over home favorite Amandeep Drall (72) and Caroline Hedwall (71), who bogeyed the 18th to slip from sole second to joint second with the Indian, according to a WIO press release Media.
Cowan took the biggest check of her career for US$60,000, while 2011 winner Hedwall was runner-up for the third time in five starts at the Women’s Indian Open.
For Drall, it was her career-best finish on the LET and also earned her $6,000 more than she would have for third. Hedwall and Drall each pocketed $30,000.
After winning her first LET title despite being on Tour since 2015, Cowan was very emotional at the award ceremony. She said: “I’ve come close a few times but I’m so happy to get over the line. I love coming here and this will be one of my most memorable moments and I’ll be back again to try and win this Trophy again.” She added, “I was pretty relaxed to be honest all weekend. I wasn’t really going to win this time. I just wanted to go out and have a good mindset and just play good golf. I played good golf so I decided to to trust it and come out today and just see what really happens.” (71) in fourth place, while Gaurika Bishnoi (73) was tied for sixth at 4-under and Vani Kapoor (69) topped her tenth straight cut in the tournament with a tie for eighth. Gaurika’s tie for sixth place was her best at the Women’s Indian Open.
The joint best card of the day came from Indian amateur Avani Prashanth, whose 5-under 67 saw her finish T-12 overall. Two other young Indians, Nishtha Madan (73), who plays on the Epson Tour in the US, and Hitaashee Bakshi (71), who a week ago won the LET Pre-Qualifiers to enter the final stage of the Qualifying School, were equal 20th.
Cowan’s previous two visits to India finished T-19 in 2017 and T-9 in 2018 and this year her best on Tour was T-4 in her home event, the Amundi German Masters.
In Jeddah last year, Cowan led by two when she got to the 18th, but double-bogeyed the last, while Sweden’s Pia Babnik birdied to win by one. “I was aware of what can happen even on the last hole,” she said with a smile.
Cowan admitted, “The morning before the start I knew I had a chance because I was only a back. But on the course I wasn’t comfortable or confident until the end, because anything can happen. And I remember what happened to Christine Wolf ( 2018).” Cowan was T-8 that year.
She smiled and added: “Maybe after the birdie on the 17th I felt I could win now, but on this course nothing is certain.” If she had ever shot 11-under during the weekend (65-68), she laughed and said, “I don’t think so, but it felt good. All in all, it’s been a great week.” Cowan, who started the final round a shot behind home favorite Amandeep Drall, was still one behind at the turn and tied with Hedwall for second. Hedwall took 11th and Cowan took 12th to join Drall at the top. The trio playing together parred the next two holes.
With four holes remaining and three players tied at 11 under, a playoff looked imminent, before Cowan birdied the decisive par-5 15th. When Drall dropped a birdie on the same hole, Cowan was the sole leader at 12 under, while Hedwall was 11 under and Drall dropped to 10 under.
Cowan didn’t look back. With Hedwall and Drall struggling to find a birdie, Cowan nearly clinched the title with another birdie at the dangerous Par-4 17th to move to 13-under, two ahead of Hedwall and three ahead of Drall.
Drall said: “I’m happy with the performance, even though I didn’t win. I felt the putts on the 12th and 13th, the first from seven feet and the second from nine feet were decisive. If they had dropped I would have got the momentum going. But overall I’m happy with the way I held up and this should improve my ranking and get me more events.” a shot on the closing 18th. That meant she dropped to 10 under with Drall. (ANI)