Olivia Cowan takes Women’s Indian Open title

Olivia Cowan put on a brilliant finish this weekend as she closed 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 victory at the LET after no fewer than 27 Top-10 places in 96 starts in the Tour. Cowan totaled 13-under 275, winning with three shots at home favorites Amandeep Drall (72) and Caroline Hedwall (71), who dropped a bogey on the 18th to slip from lone second to tie for second with the Indian, according to a press release from WIO Media.

Cowan received the biggest check of her career for $60,000, while 2011 winner Hedwall finished second at the Women’s Indian Open for the third time in five starts. For Drall, it was her best career end on the LET and it also brought her $6,000 more than she would have in third place. Hedwall and Drall raised $30,000 each.

Cowan was very emotional at the award ceremony after winning her first LET title despite her participation in the Tour since 2015. She said: “I’ve come close a few times but I’m so glad I crossed the line. I love coming here and this is going to be one of my most memorable moments and I’ll be back again to try and do this win. Another trophy.” She added: “I was very relaxed all weekend to be honest. I wasn’t really thinking about winning this time. I just wanted to go out and have a good mentality and just play good golf. I played good golf , so I just decided to rely on that and come out today and just see what really happens.”

It was a great week for the home golfers, who had four players in the Top-8 with Aditi Ashok (71) in fourth, Olympic fourth in Tokyo, while Gaurika Bishnoi (73) was sixth with 4-under and Vani Kapoor (69) finished her tenth consecutive part in the tournament with a tie for eighth place. Gaurika’s sixth-place finish 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 T-12 finish overall. Two other young Indians, Nishtha Madan (73), who plays on the Epson Tour in the US, and Hitaashee Bakshi (71), who won the LET Pre-Qualifiers a week ago to get into the final stage of Qualifying School, were equal 20th.

Cowan’s previous two visits to India yielded T-19 in 2017 and T-9 in 2018 and this year her best on the Tour was the T-4 in her home event, the Amundi German Masters. At Jeddah, Cowan led by two last year when she made it to 18th, but made a double bogey in the latter, 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: “In the morning before the start I knew I had a chance because I only had one back. But on the course I didn’t feel comfortable or certainly until the end because anything can happen. And I remember what happened to Christine Wolf (in 2018).” Cowan was T-8 that year. She smiled and added: “Maybe after the birdie on the 17th I felt like I could win now, but nothing is certain on this course.” If she’d ever shot 11-under on the weekend (65-68), she’d laugh and say, “I don’t think so, but it felt great. All in all, it was a great week.”

Cowan who started the final lap one shot behind home favorite Amandeep Drall was still one behind the corner and tied with Hedwall for second. Hedwall birdied on the 11th and Cowan birdied on the 12th to join Drall at the top. The trio playing together parried the next two holes. With four holes to go and three players tied at 11-under, a playoff seemed imminent, before Cowan made a crucial birdie on the Par-5 15th. With Drall birdied the same hole, Cowan was the lone leader at 12-under, while Hedwall was 11-under and Drall fell to 10-under.

Cowan didn’t look back. With Hedwall and Drall having a hard time finding a birdie, Cowan nearly took the title with another birdie on the perilous Par-4 17th and moved to 13-under, two to Hedwall and three to Drall. Drall said: “I’m happy with the performance even though I didn’t win. I felt like if the putts in 12th and 13th, the first seven feet and the other nine feet were crucial. If they were I had the momentum, but overall I’m happy with the way I’ve held up and this should improve my ranking and get me more events.”

Hedwall busted in a do-or-die attempt and possibly an eagle in the 18th, finishing with a shot in the last 18th. That meant she fell to 10 under with Drall. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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