Hero Women's Indian Open 2023

Dazzling Drall holds the lead at home event

Gurugram, October 22:Amandeep Drall holds a two-shot advantage as we head down the back nine on the third day of the Hero Women’s Indian Open, after the local talent rolled in four birdies in five holes to take the lead at DLF Golf and Country Club.

Caroline Hedwall looked like the one to beat in the early stages of the third round, with the Swede picking up four shots on her front nine, only for back-to-back bogey on holes 10 and 11 seeing her slip behind Drall in the pecking order.

Hedwall – playing in the lead group with Drall – led after a bogey free 32 (-4) for the front nine to see her on -9 overall, while Drall was three-under, and also bogey free, sitting on -8.

However, they swapped places after the tenth, as Hedwall dropped a shot, her first one of the day and Drall picked up a birdie for a two-shot swing that put the Indian in sole lead at nine-under, before the former Solheim Cup star dropped another on the next hole to leave the Indian sitting at the top of the leaderboard.

Drall’s best finish of T7 on the LET came this year at the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open and she is looking at a good finish to improve her ranking on the LET’s Order of Merit.

Hedwall is seeking a second win at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, the first one having come back in 2011, which was also the rookie year for the Swede. Since then, she has also finished runner-up in 2012 and 2018.

The 33-year-old Swede, who has six wins on the Ladies European Tour went through the front nine of the Gary Player layout at the DLF Golf and Country Club in four-under 32 and went up from 5-under overnight to 9-under halfway through the third round. She had birdies on third, sixth, seventh and ninth holes.

Drall, a co-leader with Hedwall after two rounds, had five pars to open the day. She then birdied three in a row from sixth to eighth. She added a timely fourth birdie on 10th, where Hedwall dropped her first shot of the day, putting Drall in sole leadership.

The player making the big move on the day was German Olivia Cowan, who was T9 in her last visit to the same event. Cowan, lying tied-10th after two rounds, rose up the leaderboard with five birdies in her first 12 holes. Cowan who is bogey free for the third day is now seven-under and lying third.

Gaurika Bishnoi, one of the four co-leaders overnight, was tied fourth with Finland’s Noora Komulainen, one of the co-leaders overnight. Komulainen and Bishnoi turned in even par 36 with one birdie and one bogey in first nine holes.