Palma (Spain), Nov 17 (PTI) Amateur Avani Prashanth and Diksha Dagar of India got off to good starts at the Mallorca Ladies Golf Open, the penultimate event of the 2023 Ladies European Tour, occupying the tied fifth and 12 spots respectively.
Saying that her goal this week is to win and avoid going to the Final Stage of the Qualifying School for which she has already made the grade, Avani said, "The main goal for this week is to win and if I play my best golf then I think I can get that done." Avani, who qualified for the LET's Final Stage of Qualifying School, overcame a rocky start with three bogeys and one bogey in first four holes to recover to 3-under 69. She was placed tied fifth and three shots behind Czech Kristyna Napoleaova (66).
Avani bogeyed first, second and fourth with a birdie in between on the third. She was still 2-over after six, but over the last 12 holes, she birdied five times -- back-to back gains on seventh and eighth and further birdies on 12th, 16th and 17th.
The 17-year-old Avani, who finished second in the LET Pre-Qualifier Asia in India last week, admitted she is looking for a win.
"I started off pretty bad, went bogey, bogey, birdie, bogey. I had a really good caddie on my bag, Miguel, who's from here. I got in control by the eighth hole and then things fell into place," she said.
"The momentum and confidence is good right now. Playing on the LET is always great. Obviously, coming from last week, it does feel a lot better and when I get my full card, I'll know this is how it's going to be." Diksha navigated her way past a starting bogey and a double bogey on the ninth for a round with four other birdies for 1-under 71 at tied 12th place.
Diksha bogeyed first and double bogeyed ninth. She got her birdies on fifth, seventh, 12th and 17th.
Diksha, currently second on the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol which is the LET’s Order of Merit, with a decent finish could move to the top of the standings with one more event to go. No Indian golfer has won the LET's Order of Merit and it could a major step for Indian golf.
Leader Napoleaova, 27, who won the 2023 Amundi German Masters, holds a two-stroke lead after an exciting first day when the scores and conditions were ideal for scoring. The Czech player made seven birdies in an opening round of six-under-par 66 to show the way at Golf Son Muntaner.
Anne-Lise Caudal of France, Anne van Dam from the Netherlands and local star Nuria Iturrioz of Spain are in a share of second place on four-under-par, with amateur Avani and Alexandra Forsterling of Germany a stroke further back in a share of fifth position. PTI Cor SSC SSC SSC