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Diksha Dagar off to fine start in Kenya, shoots 2-under round

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Nairobi, Feb 8 (PTI) India's Diksha Dagar shot two-under 71 to make a fine start at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open here on Thursday.

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Diksha, who was third in the LET Order of Merit last year, was tied seventh and two shots behind the leaders at the Par-73 Vipingo Ridge course.

Vani Kapoor and Pranavi Urs also had fine starts but gave up those gains to drop down later as the Ladies European Tour opened for the 2024 season.

Vani was set for an under-par score at 2-under after 17 but a double bogey on the closing 18th saw her finish at even par 73 and was tied 16th.

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Pranavi had a flying start and was 3-under through seven holes. She was still 2-under after 15 holes before she dropped dramatically. She had a double bogey on the 16th and fell to even par and then dropped to 1-over with a closing bogey on the 18th. She was tied 32nd.

Amateur Avani Prashanth, who after finishing T-9 in Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific in Thailand flew to Kenya, was having a tough time at 8-over and will need a very low round to have a chance of making the cut. Avani Prashanth was in Top-10 last year.

Diksha, who won the Czech Ladies Open for her second LET win and finished third at Hero Women’s Indian Open and German Masters, started from the tenth and was 1-over through 10 holes, before she found four birdies to get to 3-under. She closed with a bogey on the last for a 71.

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Diksha was tied seventh with Aunchisa Utama of Thailand and Chiara Tamburlini of Switzerland at 2-under.

Diksha missed the cut last year when India’s Aditi Ashok won the event. However, Aditi is not here this year.

Diksha was two shots behind the co-leaders Eleanor Givens, who after being 6-under with four holes to go, dropped late bogeys for a 69.

Cara Goriel from South Africa, playing only her fifth LET event after coming to the Tour last year, also shot 4-under 69, but she was bogey free. The third co-leader was tenth tee starter Ireland’s Lauren Walsh, who was also bogey free.

Three players Olivia Mehaffey of England, Italian Alessandra Fanali and Denmark’s Sofia Kibsgaard Nielsen were tied for fourth at 3-under 70 each. PTI Cor ATK ATK

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