Hero Women's Indian Open 2023

Drall, Malik and Ashok keep the Indian flag flying high on the opening day at Hero Women’s Indian Open

Gurugram, October 20:Amandeep Drall led the Indian charge opening with a bogey-free five under par 67 to share the third place on day one of the US$400,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club on Thursday.

Tvesa Malik finished in fading light to share the seventh place as the second-best Indian at three-under 69 as only 21 players from a field of 114 finished with sub-par scores. The winner in 2016, Aditi Ashok was T-11 on two-under 70 while Gaurika Bishnoi was one-under 71 and T-16.

Amandeep, who said that this was one of the best rounds in this event, was two shots behind Sweden’s Linda Wessberg, who shot a seven-under 65 to lead the field in the Ladies European Tour sanctioned event. One shot ahead of Amandeep was the Frenchwoman Anais Meyssonnier (66).

“Everything was good as I expected it because I've been playing well of late,” said Drall, who also added she had benefitted from playing more on the LET. “When you're playing more on the Ladies European Tour, the girls are so good, so you know every shot really matters. I was just in my zone today, really calm and composed, and I just took it one shot at a time. And it's three more rounds to go, so it's a long journey ahead. But to have a good start is always helpful.”

Tvesa starting on the back nine, had a double-bogey seven on the par-5 15th, her only blemish of the day. For the rest of the round, she was faultless, though she confessed she missed quite a few makeable putts. She returned to the practice putting green even while ti was getting dark, saying, “I needed to make some putts as I am playing very early tomorrow.”

After the double, Tvesa bounced back with consecutive birdies on the final two holes of the front nine. “It was a good comeback from the way I started,” she said later. Tvesa would pick up a further three shots on her way back to the clubhouse.

LPGA regular and the leading home favourite Aditi Ashok, also starting on the back nine, mixed two bogeys with three birdies before the turn and played steady golf thereafter. “I made four birdies which was pretty good,” said Aditi. “But I feel like I had at least three-four putts which I could have holed for birdie as well. I had a three-putt on the 17th from 15 feet. That's not usual for me. I could have done better on the greens, but I think 2-under is not a bad score still.”

On her second nine, Aditi was steady as a rock and also picked up birdie on the par-4 seventh that helped her finish on a good note. “I hit almost every fairway today, I think, except for the last hole and I missed only three greens which was also pretty good. But I missed 3-4 putts inside of 10 feet", she said.

Gaurika Bishnoi also had a sub-par start with a 71. “The round was good,” she said later. “There were two bogeys that came on par fives, but other than that I had a decent round today. Three bogeys, four birdies with three of them back-to-back so that was definitely interesting."

Of the rest, US-based Nishtha Madan and Vani Kapoor were on level par 72 and tied for 23rd place, while Seher Atwal, Hitaashee Bakshi, Pranavi Urs and Diksha Dagar were in shared 35th place on one-over 73s.