Becky Morgan wins maiden pro title

Kirti Patil
Monday, 22 October 2018

“I have always loved everything about India. And that’s why I have kept coming back and I did come close to winning a couple of times and finally I got the job done this time,” said an elated Morgan.

GURGAON: There was something magnetic about Hero Women’s Indian Open that pulled Becky Morgan to India since the event became part of the Ladies European Tour 10 years ago. Over the years she finished variously placed, but this Gary Player-Signature course always attracted her and despite title eluding her so many times, Becky was always here to play and on her ninth appearance she nailed it finally to win the Hero Women’s Indian Open on Sunday.

It’s been 18 years that the 44-year-old Morgan spent playing on LET, most of which were spent on either side of the Atlantic and 118 tournaments thus far, she finally found success on her 119th start.

“I have always loved everything about India. And that’s why I have kept coming back and I did come close to winning a couple of times and finally I got the job done this time,” said an elated Morgan.

Starting the day in shared lead alongside Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark and Eleanor Givens, Morgan held at bay a four-player pack to emerge winner by two shots.

Caroline Hedwall (68), Christine Wolf (70), Felicity Johnson (70) and Nicole Broch Larsen (71) shared the second place at 5-under 283, while two Thais, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (69), Supamas Sangchan (70) and a Finn Noora Komulainen (73) were 1-under 287 and Tied-6th, as only eight players finished the week under par.

In past eight editions, Morgan has had three Top-10 finishes including a second in 2015 and third in 2011. She was T-10 in 2010.

Morgan had three birdies against no bogeys on the front nine, but she did drop a shot on the 11th. She then steadied herself to birdie the par-4 13th and parred the last five holes amidst a lot of tension. 

The 2011 champion, Caroline Hedwall (69) set the clubhouse target at 5-under with a birdie on 72nd.

Wolf, till then at 7-under with Morgan, arrived at 18th and once again took a dip in the water hazard in front of the green, just as she did on Saturday. This time it was only once. Holding her head in her hands, she came out with a double bogey seven which ended her chances of holding that Trophy. She finished at 5-under, despite having scored 9 and 7 on two days at the Par-5 18th.

In the same group as Wolf was Felicity Johnson (69), who at one time shared the lead. But she dropped a shot on 17th and managed only a par on 18th as three players ended at 5-under.

Minutes before her, Nicole Broch Larsen, one of the three co-leaders overnight, landed a brave second shot onto the green and putted it out for an eagle, her second one of the day. Broch Larsen’s two eagle putts measured 90 feet on the ninth and 40 feet on the 18th.

The steady Morgan, still at 7-under, admitted she hardly looked at the scoreboard through the day. She held her nerves and putted out for a par and the title at 7-under.

As for her plans from here, she smiled and said, “I can retire now! No, I’ll pretty much be playing full-time in Europe now because I didn’t do too well in the States and I’m looking forward to a better schedule coming up next year. I’ll be enjoying myself more now!”

Tvesa Malik and Gaurika Bishnoi were the best Indians in Tied-13th place as the curtain rung down on the Hero Women’s Indian Open on Sunday.The two youngsters, who are only in their second year of professional golf, shot 73 and 72 respectively to finish at 1-over 289. They were eight shots behind the eventual winner, Becky Morgan (68, and 7-under 281).

Vani Kapoor (70), who played with tendinitis this week, and Astha Madan (70) were T-37th. Tvesa Malik had as many as six birdies, but double bogeys on eighth and 10th ruined her card. She ended with a second straight 73 and finished the week at 1-over 289 in T-13th.

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